Looking back at the week in news

Just who is running things with Nashua’s school system?

The Nashua Board of Education has approved teaching coding and Microsoft Suite to kindergartners.

“Based on my experience, let them have it,” board President George Farrington said. “You can’t hold them back; they want it, and we should be providing it to them.”

They also want to have nothing but cookies and soda for every meal, or maybe a nice, juicy burger and fatty, salty fries. You know, if they want it, let’s provide it to them.

An article on Livestrong.com quotes a 2011 Common Sense Media research study that said even very young children use computers regularly – with 12 percent of 2- to 4-year-olds and 22 percent of 5- to 8-year-olds using them every day.

It says a 2010 Kaiser Foundation study quoted on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition website that 8- to 18-year-olds spend more than 7.5 hours a day in front of TV, video-game and computer screens, even though recommended screen-time limits include no computer time for children younger than 2 and only one to two hours a day of total screen time for ages 3-18. That was so yesterday.

How are little Johnny and Janie ever going to keep up if they don’t learn coding while they’re in kindergarten? Here’s why a lot of adults want their kids to spend hours in front of screens all day: They’re great baby sitters. Then the parents can spend their own time in front of their own screens without having to interact with their kids instead. It sounds like an interesting road we’re heading down.

New England remains a great example for this country

The U.S. News & World Report released its ranking of the best states to live in earlier this week.

The outlet’s interactive platform analyzed thousands of data points to measure how states perform for their citizens, taking into account health care, public schools, the economic forecast and the integrity and health of state government.

Unfortunately for the Granite State, and a great shock to all of us who live here, New Hampshire finished a closed second behind our neighboring Massachusetts. We’re a little burned, but a silver medal to the Commonwealth demonstrates a larger message to the country.

There’s no surprise two New England states are at the pinnacle of the rankings, a third (Vermont) is in the top ten and the lowest in the region is still No. 21 (Rhode Island).

Our taxes will never be as low as the Carolinas, nor are we blessed with the natural resources of a North Dakota or Texas. But New England, with our strong commitment to health care, education and entrepreneurial spirit, remains a region for the rest of this country to emulate.

Plus, we have the Patriots. Try and top that, Minnesota.

Trump offered variety of policy points during speech

Implacable critics of President Donald Trump dismissed his Tuesday speech to Congress as full of platitudes and short on substance. One can only wonder whether they dozed off during much of the address.

Trump offered a variety of policy prescriptions during the presentation. One of them involves the critical issue of what to do about Obamacare.

Conservatives in Congress reportedly had been divided over the crucial question of what to do about massive subsidies necessary to ensure millions of Americans have health insurance acceptable to the government.

In two ways, that affects as many as 28 million people. More than 16 million are those who were added to the Medicaid rolls by Obamacare. Another 12 million or so receive subsidies for private insurance coverage.

With the devil always in the details, lawmakers still have to work out a plan that really helps Americans with health insurance, but at the least possible cost to taxpayers and those who can afford coverage on their own or through their employers. But Trump has offered a design, if not a blueprint, for repealing the wreck that is Obamacare and replacing it with something better. Political realities dictate that Congress go along with the president’s outline for reform.