There are some issues that are just not debatable.
On either side of the aisle, people feel there needs to be more substance in our education system. The mayor's plan to add computer science to the list of requirements is a must for bringing students into the future with the right tools.
There is no real structure already set up for this, so it will take time. Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes it will only take 10 years to fully implement his plan. In reality, it doesn't matter how long it takes, the city needs to get the ball rolling.
It is also only fair that education rise to the demands of society. We are going to need computer programmers and students are going to need to work.
It's been written here before that language arts should be part of early education, much earlier than the usual junior high school level. Computer technology is a language, and it too must be introduced early.
The mayor is right to make this a priority, and whatever spending comes from getting the best teachers in place is money well spent. If this plan is going to happen, it has to happen better than the way we currently teach languages, which compared to how Europe does it, has not had enough success.
Oregon and The Gift of Anonymity
People in Oregon, grief stricken from that tragic shooting last week, want the media to stop using the killer's name. They want there to be no celebrity factor to committing such a terrible crime.
The gun control debate will continue, and versions of bills will come and go. But one thing we can do, while we seek public policy that rightly addresses these random shootings, is to stop making these killers famous.
In the modern age of social networking, people see their lives as their own little reality show. For most, it is the benign and ridiculous "what do you think my cat is thinking?" followed by a picture of a cat.
But that same social network is available to the most heinous of people, and they thrive on the attention. The shooter at Virginia Tech sent his rambling video mantra to the news because he knew people would see it. The shooter who killed a news crew earlier this year went to Facebook to say a few things right before.
Modern killers are attracted to social media, and the people of Oregon are right to want that wish of most modern killers rejected. There should be no retroactive sick satisfaction that murderers get after they are caught or killed. We only need to know who they are when they are being sought after.
Keeping the names of shooters out of the press won't stop all senseless killings, but it's a way that decent society can react to take some of the attention away from these fiends.