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United States/Stamps : What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

 

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Walden
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29 Sep 2011
09:53:38am
USPS recently announced that living people and those recently deceased may now appear on U.S. stamps. Postal officials are planning to release five such stamps over the next several years, and are accepting nominations for possible stamp designs. I have included an article from the New York Times below. What are your thoughts?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/us/postal-service-will-begin-honoring-living-people-on-stamps.html?_r=2&emc=eta1
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

29 Sep 2011
10:31:13am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

the Times article concludes: Mr. Kearney said “I want to reassure everyone that we won’t let this cheapen the value of being on stamps.”

I believe that the "value" has already been set by the mohagany speed boats, Dumbo and Goofy, and chrome fins of cars Detroit will never make again.

Since America's economic picture is fast approaching that of a third-world republic, its stamp-issuing policies certainly ought to mirror those. Congratulations. We have arrived.

As to USPS reasoning, I can't imagine what they hope to gain: relevance? People mailing letters in the hope that by placing Lady Gaga on their envelopes, they'll be cool. Does Donohue really think he'll generate more stamp sales?

America doesn't need more stamps; 200+ a year is plenty.

Frankly, Stamps.Com, Zazzle, and others already allow one to do this, albeit at a price.

David

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Logistical1
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29 Sep 2011
11:27:37pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

What have we ran out of dead people?

Actually I wish they would print fewer stamps and not worry about running out of subjects to print.

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John Macco
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Astrophilatelist- Space Cover Collector

30 Sep 2011
05:24:17am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I think the space program especially the space shuttle program should be commemorated in some manner on stamps of the United States as well as commemorating the lives of the Apollo-1, Challenger and Columbia crews who perished in accidents.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

30 Sep 2011
11:38:03am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

While the number of stamps does seem to be excessive, it is not the quantity that upsets me.
Quality is what separates beautiful stamps from mass produced Jam Jar labels.

Japan issues a seemingly never ending stream of postage stamps. They certainly are being used by mailers. And yes there is a real slug now and then. But look at the beautiful scenery that they portray so well. The recent Mt Fuji set for instance.
Each time I look at them I am transported back to Japan and the experience of seeing Mt Fuji through the clouds or mist in the distance.
France issues wonderfully attractive stamps.
The Scandavnavian countries also.
There are times that I am ashamed to use some of the crappola that eminates from l'Enfant Plaza on mail to my stamp correspondents and traders.
As to the living person "controversy", I'd prefer that we search through the history of the last two hunderd years and see if it is possible to find images of individuals who have contributed to building the nation, expanding its economy or discovered some useful, perhaps life saving invention.
The idea of Lady Gaga (Who bereft of the goofy accessories really seems like a decent person.) in one of her more outragious outfits gracing the corner of an envelope that I have to open before the third cup of coffee (Or the second Scotch) just makes me want to Ga-gag.

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Logistical1
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30 Sep 2011
04:02:04pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I agree there are plenty of well deserving Americans and non Americans to commemorate. What I would like to see is perhaps more stamps recognizing American ingenuity and inventions.

If the USPS wanted to get out of financial trouble they could sell the right to design a stamp to corporations. I’ll bet there would be some interesting designs. Think of the possibility of creating stamp demand from normally non stamp collectors. Perhaps this is a step in that direction by allowing living people to be portrayed on stamps.

Many of the newer US stamps lack creativity and attention to detail. I can look for hours at engraved issues, the newer stamps just fill up space in my albums for the most part.

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Walden
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17 Oct 2011
08:30:49pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Thank you all for your comments. I too was surprised at USPS's decision, and believe that it sets a bad precedent. Since I collect coins, the article made me think of Spencer M. Clark, who served as the first Superintendent of what became the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (1862-1868). In 1864 Clark issued five cent notes bearing his portrait, causing an immediate outrage in the Lincoln administration and leading to a law preventing living persons from appearing on U.S. coins and currency. I hope that the postal service's decision does not follow the same mistakes.


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joshtanski
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18 Oct 2011
05:32:50pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I had recently read that the Nobel Prize is only given to living persons, and was wondering if stamps are the only thing that had a taboo against honoring living persons?

Josh

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

18 Oct 2011
06:39:20pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Josh,

well, it's not stamps, per se, but American stamps that HAD a prohibition against intentionally honoring living folks. Many living people have appeared on US stamps; now they can be officially honored.

Many countries, from our parent England and many of her commonwealth children, still have the monarch on their stamps, both as a symbol and occasionally honored at coronations, BDays, weddings, and the like. Banana republics and sheikdoms do it all the time. As does Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and other western nations.

The US hasn't done it, but the CSA did, sharing Washington with us and using Davis' visage as well.

And, as Peter noted, the mint did it once, but doesn't now, although many countries do.

The Nobel awarded a prize unknowingly to a man who died http://www.drudge.com/news/148939/dead-man-wins-nobel-prize.

Awards like the Congressional Medal of Honor are often given folks who are not around to wear it.

but awards that carry a monetary prize, like the nobel and MacAurthur, really don't with the idea that the funds will spur further work.

hope this clarifies things a little.

David

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Bobstamp
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18 Oct 2011
07:05:52pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I can't honestly say that this new policy has shaken my world. The U.S. Postal Service long ago lost its chance to sell stamps to me. Self-adhesive stamps and low production quality don't make them very attractive to me regardless of what they show. At the same time…

I think that it's a sad commentary on our society that we don't honour worthy people while they are alive. I'm willing to bet that anyone who's been pictured on a U.S. stamp after their death doesn't really care. But to have honoured them while they're alive? I think that's a great idea, assuming that they really are worthy of being honoured. And there's the rub: Who should decide who gets stamps issued to commemorate their lives? It wouldn't be hard to create a list of scoundrels who have been pictured on stamps, and a list of "saints" who have not. I just about choke when I see the visage of certain politicians on stamps. The best thing about them is that they're dead!

Bob

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TinMan
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18 Dec 2013
09:10:52am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

U.S.P.S. is desperate! The P.O. should cut the number of stamps they are printing in Half. They are printing. If my memory serves me right 140 new stamps this year 2014. I think 130 for 2013. That is ridiculous. At .46 cents each no I forgot their is an increase in cost. At least one increase coming up. Another one is proposed. They have priced themselves too high for collectors to keep up. This has been going on now close to ten years. I quit buying stamps from the P.O. in 2005. It just got too expensive. Oh I might buy one if a particular stamp catches my eye. But buying one of each is out of the question.

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cocollectibles

18 Dec 2013
10:38:51am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I don't really mind the commemoration of living persons on US stamps, but Bob captured my essential objection in this line:

"And there's the rub: Who should decide who gets stamps issued to commemorate their lives?"



I am more concerned with WHO is depicted, not whether they are alive or not. We should all shudder at the thought of a Bhutan-like 3D Miley Cyrus twerking stamp.

Peter
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michael78651
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18 Dec 2013
12:00:49pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Our Postmaster General recently stated (as reported in Linns December 9, 2013) that the stamp program "needs to change its focus toward stamps that are more commercial" in hopes of boosting sagging postal revenues. USPS is going to issue tons of "stickers" that people will want to collect and not use for postage. The stickers will be based on current events. Peter, you just might see that 3-D stamp of Miley Cyrus twerking Santa Claus on a future Christmas stamp. It'll be from the USA, however, not Bhutan.

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sponthetrona2
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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often

18 Dec 2013
04:44:28pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I do not want to see a staamp with Lady GaGa, alive or dead, and comee to think of it I don't ever want to see a stamp with Michael Jackson, Elvis was bad enough. Stamps show honor those Americans who deserve the reverence of the American people for things they did to better the lives of others in this country, not take drugs and influence our young with their stupidity.

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Walden
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18 Dec 2013
05:15:28pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Has USPS announced any specific plans for living people to appear on any of the 2014 issues? I remember USPS had a poll on its Facebook page a while ago and Lady Gaga and Bob Dylan were the most popular candidates.

The post office made this announcement in 2011, but it looks like they haven't yet produced any stamps featuring living people except for the Harry Potter stamps (which depicted characters from the movies).

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smaier
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Sally

18 Dec 2013
06:15:45pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

How can a living person be honored with a stamp without the risk of it being controversial? Think about Lance Armstrong - sponsored by the USPS - he is a first-class liar and cheat. You can bet his "accomplishments" would have been commemorated on a stamp long before the "truth" came out. What is right versus what will sell....hard to see it saving the post office at all. Sally

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drmicro68
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18 Dec 2013
07:03:28pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

The real problem with putting living people on US stamps is that the trend is that the current oligarch ends up on the stamps. Since we supposedly don't have an oligarch (or autocrat or dictator or regent, etc) such an idea is a very bad idea indeed. Let's not gone down that road, for it is a very slippery slope indeed.

Roger

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

18 Dec 2013
07:23:57pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

" .... I do not want to see a staamp with Lady GaGa, alive or dead ...."

Me neither, although there are a few Congressmen who I would like to see pictured on full color stamps, as long as they are hanging by their ankles from nearby lamp posts.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

18 Dec 2013
07:31:22pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I would generally oppose the move to put live people on stamps, but if something like the 50th anniversary of an historic event (like the lunar landing) comes up, I think it's OK to put Armstrong's name on the stamp, along with Aldrin and Collins. But a stamp to honor someone like Chuck Yeager the man and not just the anniversary of a specific accomplishment needs to be posthumous, IMHO.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

19 Dec 2013
02:44:52pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Thinking about this last night, (Instead of sleeping),I realized that the best policy would be to return to the ten year after someone's death, even presidents.
No fuss, no muss.
Trying to create arbitrary rules as to who should or should not be shown, and whether one anniversary is more important than another is the epitome of the proverbial slippery slope that surrounds a mud pile.
I can think of a hundred worthy exceptions and for every single one of them there are another hundred close matches to argue about.
Events or achievements sans detailed personal images are fine.
That alone creates enough to debate through infinity and beyond.
I tend to think that if a person's renown and achievement does not strike a chord after ten years he, she, it or they weren't all that impressive in the first place.

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Les
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22 Dec 2013
12:36:21pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Allegedly, the reason is to increase revenue. The USPS believes that a stamp in a collection is free revenue. Most stamps eventually get used so it isn't free revenue. Other than Christmas, I contend that the average person rarely sees a stamp. The USPS needs revenue because Congress insisted that USPS employee benefits had to be funded on a pay as you go basis. The Post Office Department had its employee benefits funded in the same way that my Army retirement was funded. It is paid out of current revenue. There was no money was put aside to to pay for benefits earned.

The USPS has become a cash cow for the government, all that money USPS pays for employee benefits goes into the general revenue stream. Most businesses do not fund retirement benefits. The burden is on the employee through the 401K. Cash on hand for retirement made many companies lucrative targets during the 90's. Especially when Congress started to guarantee private pensions. I contend that if the government took back the USPS as a service, it could pay for itself.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

29 Dec 2013
12:40:27pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

" .... I contend that if the government took back the USPS as a service, it could pay for itself. ...."
And I contend that if the people took back the Congress, especially the House of representatives from the ideologically stilted demagogs who now get automatically re-elected term after term, the country could pay for itself.

Far too many run on wedge issues in gerrymandered districts, (Both Parties and sub-parties) and kowtow to the lobby groups choosing to legislate for things that hurt their constituents.

If things do not change the American Democratic Republic will go the way of the Roman experiment 2,000 years ago, and devolve into an authoritarian state.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

29 Dec 2013
03:33:53pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

running far afield of the topic, but spot on

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.

29 Dec 2013
06:29:59pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Exists there a problem anywhere in the world
for which a Stamporama member does not have
the solution?

John Derry

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

29 Dec 2013
07:10:30pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

No, Yoda.

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Stampme

29 Dec 2013
09:21:44pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Since the Supreme Court has ruled (or misruled) that a corporation is a person, how long will it take for some enterprising bureaucrat to suggest a lobbying campaign for an ATT stamp, a Chase Bank stamp. Ugh!
Bruce

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cocollectibles

29 Dec 2013
09:59:33pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Or a Bernie Madoff 49c stamp, that will cost you $10, but has no gum so it's useless. If you ever get it, that is.

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer

29 Dec 2013
10:36:25pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

For once the post office is being Proactive-they will all be dead sooner or later.Laughing

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Noernberg
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30 Dec 2013
09:11:01pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Ha! Good one!

I really feel that depicting living non-descript or casual people (like the NY Firefighters who themselves were not being singled out and honored as individuals) is fine, and I would even go so far as to say characters are fine (such as a Leonard Nimoy as Dr. Spock or whatshisface as Harry Potter), but when we start honoring living people, especially politicians... this will be a tragic mistake and they will have gone too far.


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tuscany4me
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31 Dec 2013
11:41:14am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I do agree, Noernberg. Howerver I just had a thought for new stamps. (reminder-I am a Topical collector)

The "100 year Club" --Yes that's right, anyone who has lived to at least 100 years of age deserves a stamp!

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Noernberg
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31 Dec 2013
02:43:22pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

With a 1.00 denomination? Happy

But this could get expensive. According to Wikipedia:
"In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide."

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philb
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30 Jan 2014
05:32:02pm

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re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

My opinion is..Whats the big deal ???

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Mike

30 Jan 2014
10:29:20pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

OMG, if we issued a postage stamp for all of the centenarians just in the US, in 2010 there would have been 53,364 new issues. Like they say, "Better living through chemistry." Might just have to get a bigger album, each and every year. If the issue price were $1 each, as Doug suggested, we would also need more than the average person earns each year just to keep up with all of the new issues. Zowie, I'm glad I don't collect modern US anymore.

Mike

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michael78651
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31 Jan 2014
02:23:39am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I'm not buying another stamp from the USPS until they issue a stamp showing the mug shot of Justin Bieber.

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I still have more questions than answers

31 Jan 2014
10:02:00am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

If the USPS cared at all about the collector they would abandon self adhesive stamps, so the issue has nothing to do with us collectors in my mind.
Most collectors I know are very interested in history. Commemorative stamps should commemorate something, an event, place or a person. We have already gotten away from that. The crap that the USPS puts out these days interests me as much as collecting CTO's from Mongolia does. I think we should get back to the basics. We should only issue stamps that honor something or someone. I like tradition, so yes the people should have already passed. If that means less varieties of stamps, so be it.

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I still have more questions than answers

31 Jan 2014
10:22:33am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Justin Beiber? Lady Gaga? Obama? That's where we are heading. We certainly should not have any living politicans. ........and yes I did place Obama in the same category as Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber on purpose. I respect them all equally.

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michael78651
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31 Jan 2014
11:07:13am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

"If the USPS cared at all about the collector they would abandon self adhesive stamps,"



The general public prefers the self-adhesive stamp for its convenience of use, so those stamps are not going away. If USPS "cared", they would spend the extra penny to add that layer in the printing process that permits self-adhesive stamps to be soaked off like it was when the self-adhesives were first mass-produced.

"The crap that the USPS puts out these days interests me as much as collecting CTO's from "

Mongolia does.

I see that you won't be buying any of the stamps from my Mongolian approval book when I list it.

Big Grin

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I still have more questions than answers

31 Jan 2014
11:59:13am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Michael,
Good luck with your Mongolian CTO approval book. Someone out there probably loves the stuff and could care less about 19th Century Postal History. (If they are reading this, I have a trade for them). There are no rules for collecting. We all collect what we like.
Pat

D'Oh

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.

31 Jan 2014
09:45:39pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Justin Beiber? Lady Gaga?

These are not living people, they are nonextants
who exist solely in the media.

That, of course, begs the question: Are postage stamps a medium?

John Derry

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sponthetrona2
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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often

18 Feb 2014
11:56:08am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

No on any current Senator or Congress person, including our living presidents, combined none are worth the ink it would cost. And especially No to drug taking movie stars or drug enhancing atheletes. Allow only honorable people to be placed on a postage stamp, and no foreigners as this is the U.S.A., not the U.N.

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amsd
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18 Feb 2014
12:15:36pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Yes, John, that's why I use them on Medium Mail, or, with two packages, Media Mail

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18 Feb 2014
04:14:49pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Can bring back gummed stamps by putting Miley Cyrus on the stamp. She always has her tongue out.

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

20 Feb 2014
08:21:19am
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

It would be silly to argue against the idea that most US stamp issues are designed for some popular consumption by people who are interested in colorful topics at best.
However, there have been some very nice exceptions that slipped through the intellectual censors at L'Enfant Plaza.
The set honoring the US Merchant Marine, an endeavor that is much under appreciated, with its grudging six issues for something that has taken part in so much of our national history.

A second choice is the still incomplete Civil War engagements set although they certainly could have expanded it beyond the ten major battles to include other contemporaneous events that occurred during those years.

The long running National Parks series, despite some challenging printing issues is also quite interesting. It is too bad USPS didn't take a page from Japan's usually bright and cheerful Parks issues.

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20 Feb 2014
01:12:27pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Why don't we put criminals on stamps? (other than politicians).... Make it a semi- help pay off the room and board.

Putting living people on stamps is a horrible idea... I don't care how pious, righteous or any other quality. The greater the rise the greater the fall.

Think Bill Clinton before Monica, not that I believe the man has any afore mentioned qualities. Liking stamps would have a whole new meaning.....

P.S. Charlie caught my dyslexia... should be licking..... a whole new meaning to licking Bill





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cocollectibles

20 Feb 2014
02:17:39pm
re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I remember years ago I had a Stamp Decoder; have no idea where it is now, but with it you could view hidden images on stamps. Maybe they should put the living persons' images as hidden images, so you can see it only if you want to see it.

Peter

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Walden

29 Sep 2011
09:53:38am

USPS recently announced that living people and those recently deceased may now appear on U.S. stamps. Postal officials are planning to release five such stamps over the next several years, and are accepting nominations for possible stamp designs. I have included an article from the New York Times below. What are your thoughts?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/us/postal-service-will-begin-honoring-living-people-on-stamps.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Sep 2011
10:31:13am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

the Times article concludes: Mr. Kearney said “I want to reassure everyone that we won’t let this cheapen the value of being on stamps.”

I believe that the "value" has already been set by the mohagany speed boats, Dumbo and Goofy, and chrome fins of cars Detroit will never make again.

Since America's economic picture is fast approaching that of a third-world republic, its stamp-issuing policies certainly ought to mirror those. Congratulations. We have arrived.

As to USPS reasoning, I can't imagine what they hope to gain: relevance? People mailing letters in the hope that by placing Lady Gaga on their envelopes, they'll be cool. Does Donohue really think he'll generate more stamp sales?

America doesn't need more stamps; 200+ a year is plenty.

Frankly, Stamps.Com, Zazzle, and others already allow one to do this, albeit at a price.

David

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Logistical1

29 Sep 2011
11:27:37pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

What have we ran out of dead people?

Actually I wish they would print fewer stamps and not worry about running out of subjects to print.

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John Macco

Astrophilatelist- Space Cover Collector
30 Sep 2011
05:24:17am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I think the space program especially the space shuttle program should be commemorated in some manner on stamps of the United States as well as commemorating the lives of the Apollo-1, Challenger and Columbia crews who perished in accidents.

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30 Sep 2011
11:38:03am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

While the number of stamps does seem to be excessive, it is not the quantity that upsets me.
Quality is what separates beautiful stamps from mass produced Jam Jar labels.

Japan issues a seemingly never ending stream of postage stamps. They certainly are being used by mailers. And yes there is a real slug now and then. But look at the beautiful scenery that they portray so well. The recent Mt Fuji set for instance.
Each time I look at them I am transported back to Japan and the experience of seeing Mt Fuji through the clouds or mist in the distance.
France issues wonderfully attractive stamps.
The Scandavnavian countries also.
There are times that I am ashamed to use some of the crappola that eminates from l'Enfant Plaza on mail to my stamp correspondents and traders.
As to the living person "controversy", I'd prefer that we search through the history of the last two hunderd years and see if it is possible to find images of individuals who have contributed to building the nation, expanding its economy or discovered some useful, perhaps life saving invention.
The idea of Lady Gaga (Who bereft of the goofy accessories really seems like a decent person.) in one of her more outragious outfits gracing the corner of an envelope that I have to open before the third cup of coffee (Or the second Scotch) just makes me want to Ga-gag.

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Logistical1

30 Sep 2011
04:02:04pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I agree there are plenty of well deserving Americans and non Americans to commemorate. What I would like to see is perhaps more stamps recognizing American ingenuity and inventions.

If the USPS wanted to get out of financial trouble they could sell the right to design a stamp to corporations. I’ll bet there would be some interesting designs. Think of the possibility of creating stamp demand from normally non stamp collectors. Perhaps this is a step in that direction by allowing living people to be portrayed on stamps.

Many of the newer US stamps lack creativity and attention to detail. I can look for hours at engraved issues, the newer stamps just fill up space in my albums for the most part.

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Walden

17 Oct 2011
08:30:49pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Thank you all for your comments. I too was surprised at USPS's decision, and believe that it sets a bad precedent. Since I collect coins, the article made me think of Spencer M. Clark, who served as the first Superintendent of what became the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (1862-1868). In 1864 Clark issued five cent notes bearing his portrait, causing an immediate outrage in the Lincoln administration and leading to a law preventing living persons from appearing on U.S. coins and currency. I hope that the postal service's decision does not follow the same mistakes.


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joshtanski

18 Oct 2011
05:32:50pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I had recently read that the Nobel Prize is only given to living persons, and was wondering if stamps are the only thing that had a taboo against honoring living persons?

Josh

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
18 Oct 2011
06:39:20pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Josh,

well, it's not stamps, per se, but American stamps that HAD a prohibition against intentionally honoring living folks. Many living people have appeared on US stamps; now they can be officially honored.

Many countries, from our parent England and many of her commonwealth children, still have the monarch on their stamps, both as a symbol and occasionally honored at coronations, BDays, weddings, and the like. Banana republics and sheikdoms do it all the time. As does Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and other western nations.

The US hasn't done it, but the CSA did, sharing Washington with us and using Davis' visage as well.

And, as Peter noted, the mint did it once, but doesn't now, although many countries do.

The Nobel awarded a prize unknowingly to a man who died http://www.drudge.com/news/148939/dead-man-wins-nobel-prize.

Awards like the Congressional Medal of Honor are often given folks who are not around to wear it.

but awards that carry a monetary prize, like the nobel and MacAurthur, really don't with the idea that the funds will spur further work.

hope this clarifies things a little.

David

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Bobstamp

18 Oct 2011
07:05:52pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I can't honestly say that this new policy has shaken my world. The U.S. Postal Service long ago lost its chance to sell stamps to me. Self-adhesive stamps and low production quality don't make them very attractive to me regardless of what they show. At the same time…

I think that it's a sad commentary on our society that we don't honour worthy people while they are alive. I'm willing to bet that anyone who's been pictured on a U.S. stamp after their death doesn't really care. But to have honoured them while they're alive? I think that's a great idea, assuming that they really are worthy of being honoured. And there's the rub: Who should decide who gets stamps issued to commemorate their lives? It wouldn't be hard to create a list of scoundrels who have been pictured on stamps, and a list of "saints" who have not. I just about choke when I see the visage of certain politicians on stamps. The best thing about them is that they're dead!

Bob

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TinMan

18 Dec 2013
09:10:52am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

U.S.P.S. is desperate! The P.O. should cut the number of stamps they are printing in Half. They are printing. If my memory serves me right 140 new stamps this year 2014. I think 130 for 2013. That is ridiculous. At .46 cents each no I forgot their is an increase in cost. At least one increase coming up. Another one is proposed. They have priced themselves too high for collectors to keep up. This has been going on now close to ten years. I quit buying stamps from the P.O. in 2005. It just got too expensive. Oh I might buy one if a particular stamp catches my eye. But buying one of each is out of the question.

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cocollectibles

18 Dec 2013
10:38:51am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I don't really mind the commemoration of living persons on US stamps, but Bob captured my essential objection in this line:

"And there's the rub: Who should decide who gets stamps issued to commemorate their lives?"



I am more concerned with WHO is depicted, not whether they are alive or not. We should all shudder at the thought of a Bhutan-like 3D Miley Cyrus twerking stamp.

Peter
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michael78651

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18 Dec 2013
12:00:49pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Our Postmaster General recently stated (as reported in Linns December 9, 2013) that the stamp program "needs to change its focus toward stamps that are more commercial" in hopes of boosting sagging postal revenues. USPS is going to issue tons of "stickers" that people will want to collect and not use for postage. The stickers will be based on current events. Peter, you just might see that 3-D stamp of Miley Cyrus twerking Santa Claus on a future Christmas stamp. It'll be from the USA, however, not Bhutan.

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sponthetrona2

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18 Dec 2013
04:44:28pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I do not want to see a staamp with Lady GaGa, alive or dead, and comee to think of it I don't ever want to see a stamp with Michael Jackson, Elvis was bad enough. Stamps show honor those Americans who deserve the reverence of the American people for things they did to better the lives of others in this country, not take drugs and influence our young with their stupidity.

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Walden

18 Dec 2013
05:15:28pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Has USPS announced any specific plans for living people to appear on any of the 2014 issues? I remember USPS had a poll on its Facebook page a while ago and Lady Gaga and Bob Dylan were the most popular candidates.

The post office made this announcement in 2011, but it looks like they haven't yet produced any stamps featuring living people except for the Harry Potter stamps (which depicted characters from the movies).

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smaier

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18 Dec 2013
06:15:45pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

How can a living person be honored with a stamp without the risk of it being controversial? Think about Lance Armstrong - sponsored by the USPS - he is a first-class liar and cheat. You can bet his "accomplishments" would have been commemorated on a stamp long before the "truth" came out. What is right versus what will sell....hard to see it saving the post office at all. Sally

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drmicro68

18 Dec 2013
07:03:28pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

The real problem with putting living people on US stamps is that the trend is that the current oligarch ends up on the stamps. Since we supposedly don't have an oligarch (or autocrat or dictator or regent, etc) such an idea is a very bad idea indeed. Let's not gone down that road, for it is a very slippery slope indeed.

Roger

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18 Dec 2013
07:23:57pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

" .... I do not want to see a staamp with Lady GaGa, alive or dead ...."

Me neither, although there are a few Congressmen who I would like to see pictured on full color stamps, as long as they are hanging by their ankles from nearby lamp posts.

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larsdog

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18 Dec 2013
07:31:22pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I would generally oppose the move to put live people on stamps, but if something like the 50th anniversary of an historic event (like the lunar landing) comes up, I think it's OK to put Armstrong's name on the stamp, along with Aldrin and Collins. But a stamp to honor someone like Chuck Yeager the man and not just the anniversary of a specific accomplishment needs to be posthumous, IMHO.

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19 Dec 2013
02:44:52pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Thinking about this last night, (Instead of sleeping),I realized that the best policy would be to return to the ten year after someone's death, even presidents.
No fuss, no muss.
Trying to create arbitrary rules as to who should or should not be shown, and whether one anniversary is more important than another is the epitome of the proverbial slippery slope that surrounds a mud pile.
I can think of a hundred worthy exceptions and for every single one of them there are another hundred close matches to argue about.
Events or achievements sans detailed personal images are fine.
That alone creates enough to debate through infinity and beyond.
I tend to think that if a person's renown and achievement does not strike a chord after ten years he, she, it or they weren't all that impressive in the first place.

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Les

22 Dec 2013
12:36:21pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Allegedly, the reason is to increase revenue. The USPS believes that a stamp in a collection is free revenue. Most stamps eventually get used so it isn't free revenue. Other than Christmas, I contend that the average person rarely sees a stamp. The USPS needs revenue because Congress insisted that USPS employee benefits had to be funded on a pay as you go basis. The Post Office Department had its employee benefits funded in the same way that my Army retirement was funded. It is paid out of current revenue. There was no money was put aside to to pay for benefits earned.

The USPS has become a cash cow for the government, all that money USPS pays for employee benefits goes into the general revenue stream. Most businesses do not fund retirement benefits. The burden is on the employee through the 401K. Cash on hand for retirement made many companies lucrative targets during the 90's. Especially when Congress started to guarantee private pensions. I contend that if the government took back the USPS as a service, it could pay for itself.

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29 Dec 2013
12:40:27pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

" .... I contend that if the government took back the USPS as a service, it could pay for itself. ...."
And I contend that if the people took back the Congress, especially the House of representatives from the ideologically stilted demagogs who now get automatically re-elected term after term, the country could pay for itself.

Far too many run on wedge issues in gerrymandered districts, (Both Parties and sub-parties) and kowtow to the lobby groups choosing to legislate for things that hurt their constituents.

If things do not change the American Democratic Republic will go the way of the Roman experiment 2,000 years ago, and devolve into an authoritarian state.

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Dec 2013
03:33:53pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

running far afield of the topic, but spot on

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29 Dec 2013
06:29:59pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Exists there a problem anywhere in the world
for which a Stamporama member does not have
the solution?

John Derry

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larsdog

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29 Dec 2013
07:10:30pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

No, Yoda.

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Stampme

29 Dec 2013
09:21:44pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Since the Supreme Court has ruled (or misruled) that a corporation is a person, how long will it take for some enterprising bureaucrat to suggest a lobbying campaign for an ATT stamp, a Chase Bank stamp. Ugh!
Bruce

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cocollectibles

29 Dec 2013
09:59:33pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Or a Bernie Madoff 49c stamp, that will cost you $10, but has no gum so it's useless. If you ever get it, that is.

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29 Dec 2013
10:36:25pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

For once the post office is being Proactive-they will all be dead sooner or later.Laughing

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Noernberg

30 Dec 2013
09:11:01pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Ha! Good one!

I really feel that depicting living non-descript or casual people (like the NY Firefighters who themselves were not being singled out and honored as individuals) is fine, and I would even go so far as to say characters are fine (such as a Leonard Nimoy as Dr. Spock or whatshisface as Harry Potter), but when we start honoring living people, especially politicians... this will be a tragic mistake and they will have gone too far.


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tuscany4me

31 Dec 2013
11:41:14am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I do agree, Noernberg. Howerver I just had a thought for new stamps. (reminder-I am a Topical collector)

The "100 year Club" --Yes that's right, anyone who has lived to at least 100 years of age deserves a stamp!

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Noernberg

31 Dec 2013
02:43:22pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

With a 1.00 denomination? Happy

But this could get expensive. According to Wikipedia:
"In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide."

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philb

30 Jan 2014
05:32:02pm

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re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

My opinion is..Whats the big deal ???

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30 Jan 2014
10:29:20pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

OMG, if we issued a postage stamp for all of the centenarians just in the US, in 2010 there would have been 53,364 new issues. Like they say, "Better living through chemistry." Might just have to get a bigger album, each and every year. If the issue price were $1 each, as Doug suggested, we would also need more than the average person earns each year just to keep up with all of the new issues. Zowie, I'm glad I don't collect modern US anymore.

Mike

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michael78651

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31 Jan 2014
02:23:39am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I'm not buying another stamp from the USPS until they issue a stamp showing the mug shot of Justin Bieber.

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I still have more questions than answers
31 Jan 2014
10:02:00am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

If the USPS cared at all about the collector they would abandon self adhesive stamps, so the issue has nothing to do with us collectors in my mind.
Most collectors I know are very interested in history. Commemorative stamps should commemorate something, an event, place or a person. We have already gotten away from that. The crap that the USPS puts out these days interests me as much as collecting CTO's from Mongolia does. I think we should get back to the basics. We should only issue stamps that honor something or someone. I like tradition, so yes the people should have already passed. If that means less varieties of stamps, so be it.

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I still have more questions than answers
31 Jan 2014
10:22:33am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Justin Beiber? Lady Gaga? Obama? That's where we are heading. We certainly should not have any living politicans. ........and yes I did place Obama in the same category as Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber on purpose. I respect them all equally.

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michael78651

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31 Jan 2014
11:07:13am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

"If the USPS cared at all about the collector they would abandon self adhesive stamps,"



The general public prefers the self-adhesive stamp for its convenience of use, so those stamps are not going away. If USPS "cared", they would spend the extra penny to add that layer in the printing process that permits self-adhesive stamps to be soaked off like it was when the self-adhesives were first mass-produced.

"The crap that the USPS puts out these days interests me as much as collecting CTO's from "

Mongolia does.

I see that you won't be buying any of the stamps from my Mongolian approval book when I list it.

Big Grin

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31 Jan 2014
11:59:13am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Michael,
Good luck with your Mongolian CTO approval book. Someone out there probably loves the stuff and could care less about 19th Century Postal History. (If they are reading this, I have a trade for them). There are no rules for collecting. We all collect what we like.
Pat

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31 Jan 2014
09:45:39pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Justin Beiber? Lady Gaga?

These are not living people, they are nonextants
who exist solely in the media.

That, of course, begs the question: Are postage stamps a medium?

John Derry

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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
18 Feb 2014
11:56:08am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

No on any current Senator or Congress person, including our living presidents, combined none are worth the ink it would cost. And especially No to drug taking movie stars or drug enhancing atheletes. Allow only honorable people to be placed on a postage stamp, and no foreigners as this is the U.S.A., not the U.N.

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amsd

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18 Feb 2014
12:15:36pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Yes, John, that's why I use them on Medium Mail, or, with two packages, Media Mail

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michael78651

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18 Feb 2014
04:14:49pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Can bring back gummed stamps by putting Miley Cyrus on the stamp. She always has her tongue out.

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20 Feb 2014
08:21:19am

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

It would be silly to argue against the idea that most US stamp issues are designed for some popular consumption by people who are interested in colorful topics at best.
However, there have been some very nice exceptions that slipped through the intellectual censors at L'Enfant Plaza.
The set honoring the US Merchant Marine, an endeavor that is much under appreciated, with its grudging six issues for something that has taken part in so much of our national history.

A second choice is the still incomplete Civil War engagements set although they certainly could have expanded it beyond the ten major battles to include other contemporaneous events that occurred during those years.

The long running National Parks series, despite some challenging printing issues is also quite interesting. It is too bad USPS didn't take a page from Japan's usually bright and cheerful Parks issues.

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ECollector

20 Feb 2014
01:12:27pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

Why don't we put criminals on stamps? (other than politicians).... Make it a semi- help pay off the room and board.

Putting living people on stamps is a horrible idea... I don't care how pious, righteous or any other quality. The greater the rise the greater the fall.

Think Bill Clinton before Monica, not that I believe the man has any afore mentioned qualities. Liking stamps would have a whole new meaning.....

P.S. Charlie caught my dyslexia... should be licking..... a whole new meaning to licking Bill





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cocollectibles

20 Feb 2014
02:17:39pm

re: What are your thoughts on the recent USPS decision to allow living people to appear on U.S. stamps?

I remember years ago I had a Stamp Decoder; have no idea where it is now, but with it you could view hidden images on stamps. Maybe they should put the living persons' images as hidden images, so you can see it only if you want to see it.

Peter

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