Fiscal Cliff – Lack of Leadership in Washington – calls for a bit of “grace”

In our WISE (Wine Industry Sales Education) class on Public Speaking with world renowned public speaking coach Linda Spillane, we all had to write a short speech.  Anitra wrote and delivered a touching and compelling commentary on the current lack of leadership among our major political parties and politicians.  Our whole group thought it was important and compelling given what is going on in Washington.  Here is her talk… let me know what you think.

 

 

Family Predictions… 2012 Outcomes

So, we don’t do a lot of politics here, but occasionally will weigh in on what is going on or an important event.  Today is one of those important events – the US Elections.  I thought it might be fun to ask around a few of my family members what their predictions are going into today and also share a few thoughts of my own.  You will note I have family with widely divergent views to my own, but in the spirit of this great nation, and the true purpose of debate…  “not victory, but progress” – I share a few of them here with permission:

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First, my prediction:

Romney wins in a landslide. All those normal folks who were afraid of the drone slinging pres/gov and would not answer pollsters, actually vote their conscience.  That is, for a smaller, less intrusive government led by a moderate smart successful caring  person, who did what he had to do to get the nomination.  The country moderates back to a post ww2 equilibrium of about 20% fed gov spend of GNP and taxes. Balanced.   This fixes the problem. Yes there are some sacrifices re various worthy spending causes.  But alas, my parents retire with full current benefits, and those of us under 50′, buy into a new social pact whereby we know gov is there for a certain amount, but not for everything we need.  The gen x and later generations have to make the hard choices that the free spending baby boom generation of bill Clinton and our parents did not make.  Instead we focus on personal responsibility, hard work and innovation to get us to the place we need to be as a nation.  No more blaming the past or others for our predicament.

There is a complete rethink in academia…. Ayn Rand was right.  Hayek is the new Jay-z.  As a people, we recall what made us revolt from the British empire and create the greatest nation in history. We will remember Ben Franklin.

This will unleash an unprecedented burst of entrepreneurial activity fueled  by the billions and trillions of money on the sides lines during these dark times.   This will create opportunity for all. Women, Hispanic, Black, American Indian, Asian, all of us will benefit as a result.

Life will be grand.  🙂

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Now my Dad’s – Luke Wallin
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“The president is re-elected by comfortable margins in the popular vote and the electoral college.

The senate and house remain as they were.

In the coming year many republicans copy the strategy of “say anything.” However, it doesn’t work. This causes PhD dissertations to be written on why it worked for Romney but not for others. When the first of these works comes up for oral defense, a faculty member points out that “it didn’t work.” The thesis is rejected and all the others are quietly tossed as new topics are floated.

Chris Christie leads the party back toward moderation. This brings a war with the Tea Party, backed by the Koch brothers. Karl Rove backs Christie. Outcome too close to call.

The NRA HQ disappears in a flash of light.

Somebody said they thought they saw a drone.

What say you?”

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Now my oldest son, Skye Wallin
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“I predict a narrow Obama victory… almost certainly a victory in Ohio.

But he certainly could lose and I don’t pretend that it’s out of the realm of possibility.  Indeed, with the hurricane disruptions of voting in NY, NJ, CN, Obama may lose the popular vote and still win the College.  I hope this isn’t the case.

If Obama loses, it will be a sad thing not because he’s the greatest president, but because it will make cynics out of his supporters and cynics out of the citizens of the world who witness America fire the young man they chose to rescue us from the most catastrophic presidency in history.  People like to say that after 4 years, you can’t blame Bush anymore.  Well, I blame a lot of people and two parties, but Bush changed the world forever and wrecked a lot of things with draconian, expensive policies.

If Obama loses, it says that Americans really don’t have an ounce of patience and give up on promising individuals.  Barack still has lots of potential… after 4 years, I think he has learned what works, what doesn’t, and will approach governance more forcefully in the second term.  What kind of people are we to not even give him the chance to succeed.  As the economy improves, as the occupation of Afghanistan winds down, and as the recovery in Sandy-effected territories gets underway, what kind of sense does it make to fire the Commander?  With all the legislative nonsense that has occurred of recent, I think people blame Obama way too much–Congress is to blame for the vast majority of our problems.

With respect to foreign policy, Obama acts with a restrained neo-conservative strategy full of violence but less stupidity.  He is a scholar of the world with empathy, but unafraid to fire missiles and send in the SEALS…and go to war.  He has adopted responsible Republican tactics, so any argument that he’s soft on terror is entirely cynical and political.

WIth respect to the Supreme Court, it goes without saying that a more liberal court is a good thing.  If you are socially liberal, you understand that the Court is where those decisions get made at the end of the day.  Romney will nominate a smart, but potentially draconian conservative justice with lasting implications for civil rights and other important topics.

In the end, these men are not all that different and to assume there is a fundamental divide just isn’t true.  THe question is, do we fire our guy after his first try?  Just as things seem to be improving?  Or do we throw it all away and let Romney take the credit for someone else’s leadership?

Again, Obama wins Ohio.”

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Whatever your views, if you do not exercise your right to vote you really do not have much of a basis to argue about the outcome.  When all is said and done, I do hope as a country we can try to come together.  That does not mean abandoning ones principles just for unity.  It does however mean, finding ways in which, given the realities of a divided and diverse nation we can come focus on the big problems that need big solutions.  Stop politicizing everything and everyone.  Our nation cannot continue on its current trajectory and expect to maintain or grow our standard of living, our standing in the world or create opportunities for the next generations.  Stop pretending we can leave “as is” the social programs put in place in a different day and age when in fact they cannot continue as is.  That is not political.  Stop spending more than we take in.  That is not political.  Possible?
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There a people out there who are indeed thinking along these lines. I recommend checking out Dave Maney and his recent piece in the Denver Post, and this CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN – NY Times piece “A Capitalist’s Dilemma, Whoever Wins on Tuesday”
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Back to the family, exercising our duty as citizens, this morning at 6am at the polling station in Carmel, IN – Anitra and my oldest daughter Sierra (who got to vote for her first time today).  Pretty cool.
  
Well that about sums it up.. the family disagrees.  Do any of you have family members this divergent?  I may add more family predictions here as they trickle in.  Stay tuned…

The Choice of Ryan

I’m rarely surprised for the better by most politicians these days. Every once in a while, we get to observe a bold move by one that provides hope. Romney’s selection of Ryan falls into this category for me. I will refer to my blog post from February 2010 in which I asked the question – “Is Anybody Series in Washington?” I stand by my post from then.

I will differ with both parties on many issues. In the Democratic platform, there will be a complete lack of seriousness with regard to the size and scope of government and its role in our lives. In the case of the Republican platform, I’m certain there will be far too much government positioning on private social issues that ought to always remain beyond the reach of government (My Libertarian friends will concur). That said, selecting Ryan shows me there can be a serious approach to our #1 problem in the U.S.; that our government has become too big and is unsustainable. Ryan’s plan is no radical plan, it simply slows the growth of spending. I would be in favor of a much more radical approach. Not withstanding the ridiculous political attacks already occurring, I look forward to the clash of ideas as we approach the election.
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Here is a link to the actual House Budget Plan led by Ryan… read it before believing what you hear about it…. http://budget.house.gov/fy2013prosperity/

SOBE Wine & Food Festival 2012

Well, we had an amazing week in South Beach Miami for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival by Food Network.  This event has grown to a must attend gathering for anyone who loves wine, food and SOBE.  SOBEWFF was held February 23-26, 2012.  This year Paddington Brands became a major Silver sponsor with our Tequila 3 Amigos, Agoston Wines and we had the pleasure of pre-introducing the new Miami Cocktail Company owned by friends of mine Ross and Simon.  (Here is the sponsor page)

 

 

 

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. Hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University(FIU), the festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. To date, the Festival has raised more than $14 million for the School.

 

Our corner display in the Grand Tasting tent looked fantastic and was one of the highlights of the whole event.  We poured Tequila 3 Amigos Blanco, Reposado, Anjeo and Organic Blanco as well as our 3 Amigos Pineapple Serrano Pepper Margaritas which we have dubbed “Fire & Ice”.  Agoston wines both Tempernillo Cabernet and Granacha Syrah.  Miami Cocktails pre-introduced themselves with two of their flavors to fawning crowds.  We saw so many friends and met so many new people it is hard to capture here.

 

 

 

 

 

One of many cool things we participated in was Michael’s Genunie Food & Drink “Farm to Table” brunch sponsored by Whole Foods. This was an amazing organic brunch by Michael Schwartz of MGFD a James Beard Award winning chef and friend.  3 Amigos Tequila was the beverage of choice and we again served our 3 Amigos Pineapple Serrano Pepper Margaritas.  MGFD mixologist Ryan created what is now one of our favorite drinks with 3 Amigos

 

Cocktail Recipes:

 

“Fire & Ice”  3 Amigos Pineapple Serrano Pepper Margarita

Cut 1 Hawaiian “Gold” Pineapple into chunks (No Core) and blend with 1/2 Cup of Agave Nectar and 2 fresh Serrano Chiles (with the seeds and membranes removed) together in a blender.  Once the “Base” has a puree consistency and is flowing smoothly turn off the blender and place in a container.

  • 1.5 Ounces                 3 Amigos Blanco Tequila
  • 4 Ounces                     Margarita Mix
  • 1 TBSP                        Piña-Serrano Puree
  • 1 Scoop                       Ice

If you would like a little more sweetness you can add Superfine Bar Sugar to the rim of the glass.

 

 

 

 

 

The Caballero  by Ryan @MGFD

  • 2 oz Organic 3 Amigos Blanco Tequila
  • 1 Barspoon Roasted Poblano Agave
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 oz Red Bell Pepper Juice
  • Garnish w/ Cilantro & Bell Pepper slice

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Our partnership with POM Wonderful and Iron Chef Marc Forgione was a huge hit at the show.  Marc created the “POM Thyme 3 Amigos Margarita” … voted by many as best of show at the event.  Marc appeared for Food Network at the POM Wonderful stand prominently pouring 3 Amigos Tequila.  Here are a few shots.. and a copy of the recipe:

POM Wonderful- 3 Amigos Tequila -1003_miami_recipe_card

 

I know we will be back!  I hope you will join us next year!   And let me know if you try our recipes… they will be a hit with your guests!

 

 

Napa Smith Brewery Named Official Beer Of USA Water Polo

12/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

Huntington Beach, Calif. – December 7, 2011– Napa Smith Brewery, producers of hand-crafted beer from the Napa Valley, have been named the Official Beer of USA Water Polo. As part of the agreement Napa Smith Beer will be featured at a variety of events including the 2011 & 2012 USA Water Polo Golf Tournaments, the 2012 Hall of Fame Dinner, and the 2012 Masters Nationals Championship. They will also serve as the title sponsor of the annual Masters Nationals Social and provide additional beer to supplement VIP areas for various events throughout the term, such as FINA level National Team competitions and private fundraising events. The agreement also allows for USA Water Polo to host potential events at Napa Smith’s Brewpub while also promoting the company through Golf Tournament tee-signs, a dedicated email campaign, and more.

“Napa Smith Brewery crafts high quality, great tasting beer right here in California. We are excited to support a local business, while providing them access to our national marketing assets,” said Jennifer Rottenberg, USA Water Polo Chief Marketing Officer.  “We look forward to working together in particular to support further growth of our Masters – adult – level water polo programs, and at the same time, to support Napa Smith in its growth in distribution and awareness.”

“While Napa Smith is a young company, our employees are very active. They play kickball and golf, darts and horseshoes; we swim from Alcatraz, bike, and play volleyball. We hike, run, surf, and play soccer. A couple of us play in rock bands. And we play water polo,” said Steve Morgan, President of Napa Smith Brewery. “So, when we found an opportunity to combine one of our passions with sponsoring the sport of water polo as a whole, we jumped at it. We are very excited to partner with USA Water Polo and support their members and National Teams as they prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games in London!”

Napa Smith "Lost Dog"

About Napa Smith Brewery
Napa Smith Brewery is located at the southern gateway to Napa Valley, just south of the town of Napa. Napa Valley is internationally known as a destination for those individuals who seek the best that life has to offer. Napa Smith is proud to contribute to the Napa tradition of hard work, craftsmanship, and artistry with the introduction of its unique family of beers. It creates its beers using proprietary recipes developed by Master Brewer Don Barkley – the most experienced brewer in the craft brewing industry.

About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc. is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing our United States Olympic program as well as 20 different championship events annually, such as Junior Olympics and Masters National Championships. With more than 40,000 members, USAWP is also the sanctioning authority for more than 500 Member Clubs and more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport nationwide. It fosters grass-roots expansion of the sport, providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches and officials.

Official USA Water Polo Sponsors
24 Hour Fitness, Active Media, American Pistachios, Aquahydrate, Big Fish Payroll Services, Capital One, Colorado Time, H2O Audio, Intercontinental Hotels Group, iSport, Jostens, Kaenon, KT Tape, Ludus Tours, Malibu Wellness, Mikasa, Napa Smith Brewery, Ospraie Management, PowerBar, Pro-form Mouthguards, REUSE Jeans, Sea Air Federal Credit Union, Squar Milner, SwimOutlet.com, Stemilt, TRX, TURBO, United, VIDA Organic Life Massage & Water Marque.

   

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