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*Diamond Reynolds Graphic Video-Police Killing Castile Philando

Given today’s and yesterday’s police-brutality news, the O’Briens’ family-first policy will soon revolve around a First Amendment freedom search. And by search, I mean a journey. What this means is that each member of our family unit (4) will explore or figure out what we individually mean when we say we are all for freedom of expression (speech, press, assembly, association, and expression).

Fred and I will undoubtedly disagree. We reside on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Yet I know this does not mean we will be disagreeable, or even uncivil, in our dinner-time discussions. We’re not shy about searching for core primary values (i.e. substantive values, not due-process ones, like hollow terms such as meritocracy, freedom, liberty, or fairness). No one in this family sees eye-to-eye on fairness, since it depends upon each person’s perspective.

Now, the other two members of our nuclear family will be more reluctant to write it down. Being age-appropriate argumentative teens, I suspect, they will not “necessarily” think this is a good dinner-table discussion, and will argue throughout the meal how onerous (and unfair) a demand Fred and I are imposing.

At least it beats my “design your own dystopia” request of a few summers back. Being in Italy at that time, I thought it only fair that the junior members of this nuclear family should think about this topic. After all, they could feel the presence of Antonio Gramsci, Machiavelli, or even the ghost of St. Augustine. Alas, no one followed up on their dinner-table assignments, but we did have a lively discussion about political utopias and dystopias — enough of a discussion to know that we’re leaning more toward the dys- than the u- in these long, hot summer days of 2016’s horrors.

*Click on Link as You Tube Took Down Live Video