Notes from JWR:

The first post today is a guest article about Tibetan Yaks. The Memsahib and I raised ultra-wooly black yaks, back in the mid-to-late 1990s. We found them quite easy to manage. Our first yak bull (“Yukon Yak”) bred our Jersey cow, but unfortunately, she threw a bull calf. (We were hoping for a heifer.) Our senior yak cow (“Yetta”) originated from a Canadian zoo, and was far from tame! But all of her offspring including our first bull calf (“Black Yak Pershing”) were very gentle. I’ll never forget their distinctive “Uggh, uggh” yak grunts, and the strange sight of their …

Yak to the Future, by Judy T.

Tibetan Yaks in America? Why yes, about 5,000 of them, and growing. Why yaks? They are the most versatile animal whether you operate a retreat with livestock or plan to Get out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) Yaks can be yoked to pull for logging, farming, or transport. They can pack upwards of 250 pounds which I believe is more than llamas, donkeys or most horses. This is great if you want to carry a yurt or hunt elk and want to pack it out instead of dressing out in the field. Yaks can be ridden like horses and basically fill the …

Two Letters Re: Sterling Silver Flatware for Barter?

James: I want to warn readers about selling sterling and coin silver and other “scrap” [precious] metal silverware and jewelry. Most of the buyers out there are not reputable, and only pay a small fraction of the real “melt” value. You’ll get the best prices by selling directly to the silver foundry-type operations. To make sure that you get paid properly, first weigh your pieces on an accurate scale. Wikipedia says: “Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum …

Economics and Investing:

From reader G.M.H.: Recession Worse than Prior Estimates, Revisions Show Sven sent this: Card Companies Ready to Settle Up Items from The Economatrix: Middle Class Suicide The Collapse of Commercial Property: Towers of Debt Gold Will Hit $1,000 Again The Future Made Simple (The Mogambo Guru) Goodbye Bland Affluence Job Levels Won’t Rebound in California Until 2013 Unpaid Property Taxes Hit Localities Disney Earnings Drop 26% on Weaker Theme Park, Media Results Oil Slips Below $67 as Euro Stocks Falter

Odds ‘n Sods:

Craig K. sent us this: Germans Hoarding Traditional Light Bulbs    o o o Congressmen “fearful for their safety” as town hall meetings “run wild” (Thanks to F.G. for the link.) Gee, it sounds like the “Angry Villager Rule” from Dungeons and Dragons. Perhaps the sale of tar and feathers should be banned, just in case.    o o o House Approves Overhaul of Food Safety Regulations Some claim that this would give the US Government total control over food production.    o o o Five Freedoms You’d Lose in Healthcare Reform

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“The president has got to stop promising renewed growth. While this would affect the perceived “standard-of-living” as measured in things like shopping mall sales and vehicle miles driven, it would not necessarily mean diminished “quality-of-life.” It would mean different ways-of-life for a lot of people — for instance, young adults who had expected lifetime employment as corporate executives but who, instead, find themselves ten years from now working at farming. We have an awful lot to get real about.” – James H. Kunstler (author of The Long Emergency)