Berlin Law Firm - July 2019

LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam Andrea Brown

Make Patriotism Cool Again! 4th of July in a Polarized Age

I’m just going to come out and say it. In many places in this country, you can’t celebrate the Fourth of July like you used to. The misplaced sensitivity of those on the left and left-er coasts has reached a fever pitch, and you can’t so much as salute the stars and stripes without being called a bigot. God forbid you show your support to our commander in chief. Now, I’m not advocating for mandatory patriotism; that’s not an idea our country was founded on, but neither is the notion that we should spend our days apologizing just for being red-blooded Americans. Yet, in coastal cities and college towns across the nation, folks like me are shouted down just for being proud of where we come from. I didn’t give years of my life to the army for some sociology major to tell me I can’t stand during the national anthem. I’m not even meaning to be partisan here, as impossible as that can feel these days. It seems to me that in the past, being proud of your country wasn’t a liberal or a conservative thing. I come from Montana, where staunch conservatives and leftist democrats coexist a stone’s throw away from each other, or at least, they used to. Growing up, it certainly felt like ranchers and university professors alike were proud to be American in their own way, and both camps would revel at the chance to celebrate their country on the Fourth of July. Somewhere along the way, we lost that shared appreciation.

For my part, I picked up a strong libertarian streak from my time in Big Sky Country. I’m not one to tell people what they can or can’t smoke or who they can or can’t love, and I’m certainly not about to begin telling people which days they can or can’t celebrate. But is it too much to ask that I and others like me be treated with the same decency? As a lawyer, my whole life revolves around giving everyone a voice and a fair shake. If you say this country can do better, great! Make your ideas heard and let’s get to work to fix things. Contrary to popular belief, we conservatives aren’t under the delusion that the U.S. is and has always been perfect in every way. Hell, “Make America Great Again ” is an acknowledgment that we can and will do better. But if your idea of fixing things is to silence everyone who disagrees with you, then sorry, comrade, I don’t want you at my barbecue.

Texas and Arkansas, making this possibly the only state you can drive around with a MAGA bumper sticker and not have your car keyed. Even Alaskans have to put up with Anchorage hippies and worse, Canadians. This is probably the only state I could say this in a newsletter and gain readers. So this year, I’ll be raising a toast to Oklahoma, as well as to the nation we all call home. Even more than in Montana, I feel safe to express my views here, which serves as a perfect reminder of how precious the values of free speech and equality we’re meant to honor on the Fourth really are. Despite the division and lack of patriotism in this country, I think there is at least one thing we can all unite around this Independence Day. At the time of writing, President Trump has just made his visit to London, and predictably, the city came out to protest him. Watching the news, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of English citizens slighting our nation while they’re in the midst of the Brexit debacle. Regardless of what you think of Trump, we as Americans can all agree that we’re very glad to have won our independence from the Brits. We can sit back with the greatest economy in the world and watch our former overlords fumble their way out of the EU. Despite our differences, at least we aren’t those blokes.

That’s why I’m so grateful to celebrate the Fourth of July right here in Oklahoma. There really is no better bastion of conservatism in the United States. We’ve got plenty of buffers from the coasts thanks to states like

God Bless America, – Lee Berlin

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Andrea’s Book Club

Children’s Books

At bedtime tonight, I asked my two children what their favorite books are. In seconds, my oldest blurted out her response. She didn’t even need time to think about it. “Tickle Monster” by Josie Bissett got the endorsement of my 6-year-old because in her words, “I love the tickles, and, at the end, you get tickled everywhere.” This favorite book comes with tickle mitts — fuzzy, blue, adult- hand-sized gloves — which transform the reader into a tickle monster. This is a book that is delightful for boys and girls alike. Since it is a rhyming book, it is easy to read and memorize and is conducive to voices that make the story even more enjoyable (if that is possible) to both the reader and the listener. “Tickle Monster” is essentially a friendly alien who comes from Planet Tickle. This relatively quick read (parents across the world lament the publication of “The Day the Crayons Quit” due to its length) begins with instructions from the blue, smiling “monster” with gender-neutral rainbow-striped horns to tickle here and tickle there. As the tickle monster, who is a world traveler, progresses through his narrative, the tickles expand and the fun is uncontainable. I cannot count the nights over the past several years that I have smiled to myself while emptying the dishwasher or loading the laundry at bedtime because I can hear my husband using his “tickle monster” voice to read this book, accompanied by squeals of laughter from the kids. This is a must-get for any parent, godparent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. I assure you; you will enjoy it as much as the children will.

Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike. ENCOURAGE THEIR CURIOSITY One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves. BRING ALONG SOME TOOLS OF DISCOVERY Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you. Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look. KEEP SAFETY IN MIND While you’re out on the trail, it’s essential to make sure that both you and your family are safe. Wear breathable, noncotton material and sturdy shoes that don’t expose your toes. It’s important to dress according to the weather. For example, if the day is sunny, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and apply plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and water bottles for everyone to stay hydrated. It’s crucial that you also bring a fully stocked first-aid kit in case someone is injured on the hike. Starting with one of your local hiking trails can be a rewarding way to spend the day with your kids. You can watch their excitement as they expand their world with new discoveries. Watch Their World Expand With Every Step HIKING WITH YOUR KIDS

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Inspired Be

Watermelon Cucumber Skewers


Inspired by

1 medium-sized watermelon, cubed

2 cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 block feta cheese, cubed

1 bunch fresh mint leaves

Salt, to taste


1 packet of bamboo skewers


1. Assemble skewers by placing one watermelon cube, one cucumber round, one feta cube, and one mint leaf on skewer in that order. Repeat until skewer is full. 2. Lightly season with salt and chill in fridge until right before serving.

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8516 E. 101st Street, Suite A Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133

Phone: 918-770-0172

Inside This Issue

Make Patriotism Cool Again! Page 1

Hiking With Your Kids Andrea’s Book Club Page 2

What It’s Like to Have Lee Berlin in Your Corner Watermelon Cucumber Skewers Page 3

CHILL OUT Relax in These Cool Destinations This Summer

As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 degrees F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. ALASKA No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve. ICELAND Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat.

With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 degrees F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? NORWAY Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 degrees F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.

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