The analogy was a bad one, not unlike a illogical comparison

Lol shocker… the Washington Post employs journalists like L.A. employs cops. Dumb & dumber, everyone’s on the take! 😉

The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

analogies

The above seems plausible enough. I was once in high school and undoubtedly penned a number of bad analogies, though I also recall having considerable difficulty differentiating analogies, metaphors and similes from one another.

While most of my analogies were sports-related – “the sound his head made as it bounced off the pavement was a sharp thwack, resembling the tone of a Nolan Ryan fastball being fouled off by Reggie Jackson” – and many were substandard, they probably weren’t as cringe-worthy as the above.

But, of course, the Internet being the Internet, it turns out that the above analogies weren’t written by high school students but by readers of the Washington Post.

In July 1995 the Post ran a contest asking for outrageously bad analogies, according to the blog Socratic Mama. Readers were asked to write the most hideous prose they could imagine. The above is a selection of those submissions.

It wasn’t long before…

View original post 109 more words

7 ways to increase your marijuana yield (with any strain)

Courtesy of : http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/

Hi,

How are things, enjoying summer? (or winter, in Australia;-)

Perhaps you are halfway a marijuana growth cycle. Or perhaps you are contemplating starting your very first marijuana garden this fall. Either way, I am always ready for you with guides, tips, expert advice and quality seeds to help you achieve the best results when growing marijuana.

Increase your Marijuana Yield

increase yield

When you are growing marijuana, you of course want the highest yield possible.

To make this achievable for you too, I have listed the 7 factors that have the biggest impact on maximizing your marijuana yield. Read my mini-guide on How to increase your Marijuana Yield

Please let me know in the comments if you learned something, or if you have any other suggestions!

While you are at it: we launched a brand new site design!

Would love to hear from you if you like it or not. Just reply to this email. Any feedback is welcome, good or bad.

The New Blog

What are the area’s where you should focus to increase your marijuana yield?

Read the maximum yield article for these 7 factors:

  • Increasing the light intensity
  • Pruning your plants (also check the previous article on pruning)
  • Using the best nutrients (Tip: check my Marijuana Booster)
  • Create the perfect climate
  • Harvest at the right time
  • Watch out for marijuana plant symptoms (check my sympton-checker as well)
  • Choosing the right genetics

It starts with the seeds. If they are bad, no amount of work will give you a high yield. Read the new yield article, and let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions!

Happy Growing!

Robert

PS – If you order seeds or marijuana plant nutrients at my shop, you might see we made a radical change. We have partnered with a company here in Amsterdam to provide all fulfillment services. From now on Amsterdam Connected will handle our logistics and payments. They have some excellent financial systems in place to securely handle your credit card data, and a logistic process that get our seeds delivered to your address in no time!

This way, me and my team can do what we do best: breed awesome marijuana strains and write great marijuana grow guides. The technicalities of taking card payments and worldwide shipping is left to the experts of Amsterdam Connected. The world revolves around cooperation and partnerships after all!

Rest assured, you will still be receiving our own high quality seeds and nutrients when you place an order. This change is mostly invisible from your end.

Try out our discounted seed offers?

ILGM, Postbus 51153, 1007ED Amsterdam, NH, Netherlands

Greece isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom of the problem

Greek-crisis-pain

July 22, 2015
Munich, Germany

By plane, Asia and Europe are 12 hours apart. But on the ground the gap feels like decades.

It’s always a shock to leave a place like Vietnam (where I was last week) and fly to Europe.

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing countries in the fastest growing region of the world. It’s exciting.

Whereas here in Europe, sometimes it feels as if nothing’s changed in the last five centuries.

It’s a night and day difference.

All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent.

Italy is gasping to exit from its longest recession in history, while unemployment figures across Southern Europe remain at appalling levels.

In France, the unemployment rate is near record highs.

Finland, once a darling of the Eurozone, is posting its worst unemployment figures in 13-years.

Even in Austria growth is flat and sluggish.

It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem.

The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume.

This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.

If you spend your entire life going in to debt, making idiotic financial decisions, and rarely holding down a stable job, you’re not going to prosper.

Yet governments feel entitled to continuously run huge deficits, rack up historic debts, and make absurd promises that they cannot possibly keep.

This is a complete and total violation of the universal law of prosperity. And as their financial reckoning days approach, history shows there are generally two options.

The first outcome is that a country is forced to become more competitive– to rapidly change course and start producing more than it consumes.

It’s like a bankrupt company bringing in a turnaround expert: Apple summoning Steve Jobs in its darkest hour.

But here’s the thing: if a nation wants to produce, it needs producers. That means talented employees, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs.

So any bankrupt nation that wants to survive is going to have to roll out bold incentive programs to attract talented people, growing businesses, and capital.

This includes cutting taxes, reducing red tape, establishing easy residency programs for talented foreigners, etc.

And it’s already happening.

Even the UK has been working to slash its corporate tax burden and attract more multinationals to its shores.

Portugal has been offering residency in exchange for real estate investment, which has helped stabilize its troubled property market.

Malta offers economic citizenship, providing public finances with vital capital.

And I expect Greece to launch similar programs; we might even see the Greek government selling off passports bundled together with an island. No joke.

They’d be well advised to do so; because the second option for bankrupt nations is to slide deeper into chaos.

Rather than changing their course and trying to produce more than they consume, struggling governments instead often choose to seize and confiscate everything they possibly can.

They impose capital controls, confiscatory tax rates, and inflation– further destroying productivity and wiping out people’s savings.

This only makes them decline faster, dragging down anyone whose assets are within the government’s reach.

This is why it makes so much sense to have a Plan B.

If your home country fails to produce more than it consumes, it’s not safe to hold 100% of your assets there.

This is really a very simple concept: don’t keep everything you’ve worked to build for your entire life in a bankrupt country.

It’s hard to imagine you’ll be worse off for doing something so sensible.

Even if everything seems fine at the moment… even if it feels like your government has the situation under control… it still makes sense to develop a Plan B.

In fact, now is the best time to do so– when it’s calm.

After all, the absolute worst time to start thinking about where to move your assets is after the metaphor hits the fan.

Any sense of tranquility in the markets, or strength in your currency, is NOT a reason to be complacent. It’s an opportunity to make sensible decisions to diversify, including steps like:

– Moving some emergency savings abroad to a well-capitalized bank outside of your home government’s control.

– Take a hard look at your investments and consider reducing your exposure to any absurdly overpriced paper asset bubble. Strive to purchase high quality assets on the cheap.

– Own something real as a hedge against the system– precious metals, cash-producing (and food-producing) farmland, etc., all ideally held outside of your home country.

– Reduce debt and invest in your family’s financial education.

– Consider a second passport (it’s the ultimate insurance policy) or at least a second residency abroad to ensure that, no matter what happens in the world, you and your family will always have a place to go.

Take advantage of the time you have now to take simple, common-sense steps and ensure that everything you’ve worked to achieve won’t vanish in an instant.

3 ways to get a European passport

Malta-passport

Zug, Switzerland
July 23, 2015

I’ll admit that I lucked out.

Nearly 15 years ago, I discovered that I was entitled to a European citizenship because of my Italian ancestry.

Back then I hadn’t yet realized all the power and benefit of having a second passport. But it sure seemed like a good idea.

The way I figured, another passport just meant having more options. I knew enough to understand that, with an Italian passport, I could live and work anywhere in the European Union. And that struck me as a major benefit.

It took a long time– probably an entire year just to assemble the paperwork. It was a nice project, actually, because it gave me a great reason to spend time with my mother chasing around documents together.

Then there were the multiple appearances at the consulate. The Byzantine bureaucratic hurdles.

I remember at one point I paid them a small fee- it was probably just fifty euros or so. I had paid them the equivalent in dollars.

But the process took so long that the dollar lost value against the euro, so months later they sent me a letter asking me to send more money!

I’ll never forget the day, though, when the Fedex envelope finally arrived.

Inside was my very first second passport. It was incredible. And one of the things that got me started on this journey.

Suddenly I realized that I was no longer beholden to one nation. That no single government had exclusive authority over me. I had more options. I had more freedom.

It was a feeling I’d never had before. It was like I had been missing something for my whole life, but never even knew it until that exact moment. Then I wondered how I had ever gotten along before without a second passport.

I cannot overstate the benefits of this. Having a second passport is something I call the ultimate insurance policy.

It ensures that, no matter what, you always have a place to go. To live. To work. To do business. To retire. And in some cases, even seek refuge.

Now, obtaining a second passport often takes time to establish, sometimes years. So it’s advisable to start thinking about your options now.

Right here in Europe, there are a number of possibilities for obtaining second citizenship, for which there are three basic approaches.

The first is for those that happen to be a part of the lucky bloodline club. If you are able to demonstrate sufficient ancestral links to a country, in many cases you can be entitled to their citizenship.

Ireland and Poland, for example, will grant citizenship if you can prove that you have a parent or grandparent from there.

Hungary will go even further back if you can prove ancestry way back from the Austro-Hungarian empire.

This type of citizenship known as jus sanguinis is commonplace across most of Europe. So with the right ancestry and documentation, you could be on your way to a second passport in a matter of months.

If ancestry is not an option, another option is to buy citizenship.

In scrambling for money, many governments are turning to selling citizenship to well-heeled foreign investors.

In some cases, like Spain and Portugal, the government trade legal residency in exchange for a significant property investment.

In Malta and Cyprus, the governments have taken to naturalizing foreigners who make a very large economic investment and meet other qualifications.

I expect more such opportunities to begin springing up as European nations get nearer to bankruptcy.

Thirdly, lacking the right ancestry or a pile of cash, there is also the option to trade some of your time.

After a fixed number of years of continuous residency, in many countries you can be eligible to apply for naturalization.

Belgium is a very attractive options for this. There, you need just five years of residency before you can be eligible to apply for naturalization.

And you don’t even need to spend the preponderance of that time in the country.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other options out there, but for now I just wanted to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Keep in mind that while some of the paths to obtaining second citizenship are much quicker than others, none of them are instantaneous.

So it pays off to get started in the process sooner rather than later.

After all, it’s hard to imagine that you’d be worse off—especially if you’re a member of the lucky bloodline club—for taking advantage of this.

More options mean more freedom, and that’s always a good thing.

This idyllic valley in Switzerland could soon change the world…

Zug-Switzerland-Podcast

Zug, Switzerland
July 24, 2015

I’m sitting here on a park bench with my friend and colleague Johann Gevers overlooking an absolutely serene lake in Zug, Switzerland.

With the elegant and imposing mountains behind, it’s as quintessentially Swiss as you can get.

Johann is the founder of Monetas, an advanced digital transaction platform that could dramatically change the way people do business around the world

Monetas is a ‘cryptofinance’ company– part of the new generation of technology firms that has set its sights on revolutionizing finance.

This goes way beyond Bitcoin.

The world of finance as we know it is highly centralized. Anytime you buy a Starbucks coffee or pay your electric bill, the funds pass through a heavily congested financial highway that is exclusively controlled by the banks.

All the money is funneled through their system. It’s expensive. Inefficient. And incredibly outdated.

Think about an international wire transfer—the funds flow from one bank, to a larger bank, to an even larger bank (typically in New York), and back down to smaller banks on the receiving end.

And everyone takes a fee along the way.

This is ridiculous in 2015. The technology already exists to eliminate all of the middle men and allow transactions to pass directly between a buyer and seller.

These companies are game changers. And in Johann’s case, he deliberately selected this picturesque valley in Switzerland as the place to base his company.

In Johann’s assessment, Switzerland still presents the most stable, credible, freest place in the world to run a business, especially something that could really disrupt finance.

And he’s working hard to bring even more cryptofinance companies here to Zug—a vision he calls “Crypto Valley”.

If you listen to his story, it really makes sense. Economic freedom. Low taxes. Friendly, cooperative government.

And the lifestyle really is incredibly idyllic.

Why You Don’t Have an International Trust… Even Though You Should

Why You Don’t Have an International Trust… Even Though You Should

The safety, protection, and tax advantages of an international trust give you a rich list of benefits:

  • Protection from malicious lawsuits
  • Protection from arbitrary asset seizures
  • Protection from future restrictions on owning gold or foreign currencies
  • Ready access to foreign investment markets and financial institutions
  • Income tax planning advantages you won’t get if you stay at home
  • A better legal environment for estate planning
  • A way for family wealth to eventually disconnect completely from the US tax system
  • The peace of mind that comes from knowing you can always fall back on assets that aren’t vulnerable to the government where you live.

There is simply no way to gain that full suite of advantages except with aninternational trust.

Here are the top 10 reasons so many investors are missing out on the kind of protection they want for themselves and their families.

Worry Point 1: “I might get cheated by a dishonest Trustee.”

Few Americans have any experience dealing with international trust companies, and that’s true of their lawyers as well. How can they trust the Trustee? There are two ways to approach this worry point. If WP1 is a problem for you, I suggest that you wrestle it down both ways.

The first solution is the airplane. If you’ve identified a trust company as a candidate for your business, buy a ticket and visit it. After a meeting or two, your confidence level will either go way up or way down. Facts quiet the imagination.

The second solution is structural. There is no need for the Trustee to actually get its hands on the assets you want to protect. Instead, the assets could be kept in an account with a foreign bank or broker in which you do have confidence, with you as the account’s investment manager. You would give trading orders directly to the bank or broker and always know where your money is. The Trustee would stay in the background.

For even tighter control, you can keep all the investments in a foreign limited liability company. Your trust would own the LLC, but you would be the LLC’s manager. You would have hands-on control of everything the company owns. You, not the Trustee, would have signature authority on the LLC’s bank and brokerage accounts. That would make it impossible for a less-than-ethical Trustee to do any harm. The Trustee won’t even know where the LLC is holding the assets until you decide it’s time to provide that information. The Trustee won’t even know what the assets are.

Worry Point 2: “I don’t want to get stuck with a trust company that’s inefficient and unresponsive. How can I be sure the Trustee will stay focused on my purposes for the trust? How can I rely on the Trustee to do a proper job?”

This worry point also has a clear solution. With a properly structured international trust, you (or someone else you choose) will be the Trust Protector, whose primary role is to advise the Trustee about the needs and circumstances of the Beneficiaries. As Protector you’ll have a power to replace the Trustee with another independent, licensed trust company. So you’ll always be free to take your business elsewhere. This subjects your Trustee to the same kind of market discipline that keeps most businesses customer friendly and on their toes. To hold on to your business, the Trustee will have to compete every day.

Your powers as Protector mean you have an easy exit if the Trustee ever loses sight of your objectives. The Trustee understands that, so having an easy exit means you’ll probably never need to use it.

Worry Point 3: “I like to make my own investment decisions. A Trustee’s investment decisions might be pedestrian or self-serving.”

If you’re concerned that the Trustee would handle your money ineptly or manage it to generate revenue for its affiliates, you can easily eliminate those possibilities. One approach is to keep the assets in a brokerage account that you manage. Or if you’re using an investment advisor now and are satisfied with its performance, that same advisor could manage your trust fund. Holding the assets inside an LLC that the trust owns and that you manage is another way to keep your finger on investment decisions.

Worry Point 4: “I’m afraid I’ll get into trouble with the IRS if I set up an international trust.”

Will forming an international trust be like painting a target on your back? No. The tax rules governing your international trust are clear and simple. So follow them. Go on green and stop on red, and you won’t get a ticket.

During your lifetime, any and all taxable income the trust earns from its investments needs to be included on your personal tax return. That’s what the rules tell you to do. And let your accountant know what you’re doing, so he can prepare and file the simple reports the IRS requires. Keeping your accountant in the loop keeps you out of trouble. (The tax-advantaged investment vehicles available to your international trust may help to keep taxable income low.)

Ask any tax attorney or accountant who deals with international matters whether an international trust will attract trouble with the IRS. The answer will be “No. But make sure you file the required reports.” When you pay your taxes and follow the reporting rules, there’s nothing for the IRS to argue about. Go on green, stop on red.

Worry Point 5: “I’d feel awfully uncomfortable telling an angry judge I can’t repatriate money from my international trust to pay a judgment. He might lock me up if I don’t follow his orders.”

A properly structured international trust allows you to do everything you possibly can do to obey any court order you might receive… without endangering the trust fund. If you ever find yourself on the losing end of a big lawsuit, you should make every reasonable effort to follow the court’s orders, and you should follow your attorney’s advice in doing so. But your efforts to loot your own international trust, if that’s what the court tells you to do, are unlikely to succeed, since you won’t have a simple power to unilaterally compel the Trustee to distribute money to you.

And if the Trustee knows or suspects that you are under a court order, the Trustee will have a duty not to send you any unusually large sums that might be grabbed by a creditor. Your trust fund will be safe.

You can be found in contempt of court for refusing to obey a court order or even for failing to do everything reasonable to comply with the order. But you can’t be found in contempt for failing to do the impossible (unless you created the impossibility after the legal process had begun).

Your inability to tap your international trust to pay a big judgment protects you from litigation in a second way: it reduces the chance that anyone will ever begin a lawsuit against you, since a serious attacker would see the trust as a prize he can’t reach even if he might win in court.

Worry Point 6: “The last person I heard about who had an international trust was a money launderer (or embezzler or arms dealer). I don’t want to be in that kind of company.”

Maybe the last time you heard about someone with an international trust was when you were watching a movie. Every one of the jurisdictions that would be suitable for a lawful international trust has “know your customer” rules that are energetically enforced and that every licensed trust company is required to follow. Trust companies are also required to know how each trust client acquired the money or other property he’s transferring to his trust. No trust company in any of these jurisdictions wants to risk losing its license by accepting tainted money or by being sloppy about following the rules.

Part of doing your homework before setting up an international trust includes selecting a jurisdiction and a specific trust company.

Worry Point 7: “For me, ‘international’ isn’t much different from ‘inter-planetary.’ Even if I decided I wanted an international trust, I wouldn’t know where to go.”

You’ve got plenty of company. Most investors wouldn’t know where to go. But there is a way to figure it out. The most important things to look for in a jurisdiction for an international trust are:

  • English common law
  • No income or inheritance taxes on trusts
  • Laws that make it difficult for future creditors to break into your trust
  • A healthy society, because that’s the basis for political stability and honest government
  • Freedom from dependence on the US government

In this article, we see exactly where those criteria lead. You’ll know where to go.

Worry Point 8: “International trusts are too complicated.”

Everything new seems complicated until you get a clear explanation of how it works. I’ll give you the 60-second version right now.

  1. As Grantor of your international trust, you do two things: First, in a written document you tell the Trustee who the Beneficiaries are—probably you, your spouse (if you’re married), and your children and grandchildren (if you have any). You can include your descendants who haven’t yet been born (future grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.). You can include anyone, either by name or by describing a category of persons. And you can name charities and other nonprofit organizations. It’s up to you.

    Second, you transfer money, LLC interests, or other property to the Trustee to hold as part of your trust fund. You can add to the trust fund at any time, which means you can start small if that’s how you’d like to proceed. For tax reasons and to protect against potential creditors, your transfers are irrevocable—so you certainly will want to understand points B and C very clearly before you transfer anything to the trust.

  1. The Trustee’s legally enforceable responsibility is to protect the trust fund and to apply it for the welfare of the Beneficiaries in the ways you intended when you established and funded the trust. “Apply” usually means sending you or another Beneficiary a check. But it can also mean investing in a Beneficiary’s business or paying your credit card or medical bills in an emergency.
  1. Someone, probably you, is the Protector of the trust. The Protector advises the Trustee on how to fulfill its responsibilities—how to protect the trust fund and when each Beneficiary should receive a distribution or other benefit. The Protector has a power to replace the Trustee with another independent, licensed trust company if he decides that doing so would help the trust achieve its purposes—what you intended when you established and funded the trust.

    The Protector also has a power to name his own successor. Thus the Protector’s role continues from generation to generation.

  1. The Protector’s powers are so important that the Protector is himself protected by an “anti-duress” provision. The Protector’s powers become suspended during any period when the Protector is having his arm twisted by a government agency or any other source of coercion. This prevents anyone from using the Protector to hijack the trust.

There. You’ve taken the first step toward becoming an expert on international trusts, and it only took one minute.

Worry Point 9: “I’ve already gone to a lot of trouble and expense to set up an estate plan. I don’t want to start over.”

You don’t need to tear up your estate plan to get the safety and protection of an international trust. You just need to relocate the plan to another jurisdiction. Every conventional estate-planning tool (what you hear about when you talk to your lawyer about estate planning) works smoothly inside an international trust. And by going international, you can achieve two advantages that you can’t have with a stay-at-home approach.

First, with an international trust you can move assets out of your taxable estate and still keep them available for your support.

Second, an international trust is a complete and permanent solution. After your lifetime, the trust disconnects from the US tax system. Compare that with what you leave in the US. The US domiciled assets you leave for your family continue to be subject to income tax, year after year, and to estate tax, generation after generation.

Worry Point 10: “An international trust is too expensive to set up and maintain. Protection is good, but not at just any price.”

As with most things, establishing an international trust can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on how you go about it. If you close your eyes and hand the project over to the most expensive professionals you can find (or who find you), the cost can run like a rabbit. At the very high end, you might pay as much as $100,000. But at the other extreme, if you do your homework and become well acquainted with the subject, establishing an international trust can cost less than $5,000.

Ongoing maintenance costs work the same way. If you’re careless, you can pay 2% per year or even more to keep your international trust going. But with a little comparison shopping, you may push the ongoing costs below 0.5% per year—less than half of what you’d pay to invest in a garden-variety mutual fund.

I’ll show you how to establish and maintain a lawful international trust in the most cost-efficient way. You’ll be surprised how inexpensive maximum safety can be.

For further details, click here to check out the International Trust Library, which even introduces you to a licensed international trust company that specializes in helping people from North America.

The International Trust Library will give you everything you need to understand and create an international trust, the most powerful asset-protection vehicle on the planet.

It includes all the documents you need to actually establish your trust, including the legally binding trust deed. Because the documents have already been prepared and are ready to use, you’ll save thousands of dollars in legal fees.

It’s a turnkey solution to a previously complex and expensive undertaking. There’s simply nothing else like it in the marketplace.

If you’re interested in using an international trust to gain the highest level of protection possible for your wealth, click here to check out the International Trust Library.