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US Postal Service To Honor Living Individuals On Stamps

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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
2277 Posts
Posted 09/26/2011   5:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nitrolures to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can I get a vote for Charlie Sheen , poor guy needs help. The canda post isues that have depicted "living legends" seem to use those that are destined to be legends regardless. Anne murray, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot to mention a few (short of a murder spree) are true legends . I guess its like a rookie card being valuable before the player has done much so people invest in potential. As long as they are tactful and low enough in production it may be a smart move for USPS.
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 09/26/2011   11:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Now that this news has hit the media for several hours, it seems that the general consensus is that this is merely a ploy by the Postmaster General as a way to raise needed revenue for issuing stamps that, for the most part, will not be used for mail but retained by collectors, which, in turn, represents pure profit for the USPS.

An article in the NY Times added another dimension to this issue that was not mentioned in the other news articles I read:


Quote:
...the usual three-year process to move a stamp from suggestion to implementation would be condensed so that at least one stamp with a living person would be available later next year, along with 34 other new stamps already scheduled for release...


And for the record, I disagree with the NY Times suggesting that we have only 34 other new stamps already scheduled for release in 2012. Technically, that may be true with 32 issues shown on Beyond the Perf, and adding the New Mexico and Arizona Statehood Stamps that were announced after-the-fact. So of that 34 count, it seems to me we have to add in the fact that the Cherry Blossom stamp is (2) face different designs; the Santa and Sleigh, Choreographers, Film Directors and Baseball Legends and US Flags (4) face different designs each; the Earthscapes (15) different designs; the Bonsai, Send A Smile and Aloha Shirts (5) different designs each; and the Flags of all Nations (6) different designs. That brings me up to a count of 78 so far, not including any postal rate increase stamps and not including the aforementioned living person stamp that would be issued in 2012.

By the way, in response to this previous question:


Quote:
Has anyone verified this from official sources?


Here's a link to the "official" USPS News Bulletin on the subject:

http://about.usps.com/news/national...pr11_109.htm
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Edited by wt1 - 09/27/2011 12:31 am
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
1155 Posts
Posted 09/27/2011   04:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add irishjack to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Guess there is going to be a whole new subject. Autograph FDC or mister would you mind signing this stamp.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1947 Posts
Posted 09/27/2011   05:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rohumpy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is a big mistake. We are going to see a politicization and a polarization beyond what we have now in the US. Big business is going to step in and demand stamps with their products on them. You ain't seen nothing yet.
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
Australia
3899 Posts
Posted 09/27/2011   05:32 am  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
865 Posts
Posted 09/27/2011   8:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spanishmoss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Guess there is going to be a whole new subject. Autograph FDC or mister would you mind signing this stamp.


I never thought of that.

Although, I wonder how many of the super-famous people would show up at a first day ceremony, even though are the ones being honored.

I just don't see some of the Hollywood people being willing to sign autographs. And the ceremony itself would become a media circus. Just my two cents.
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 09/27/2011   9:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is the REVISED Stamp Subject Selection Criteria as issued by the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee:


Quote:
Stamp Subject Selection Criteria


The U.S. Postal Service and the members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) have set certain basic criteria used in determining the eligibility of subjects for commemoration on all U.S. stamps and stationery.

Following are the 12 major criteria now guiding subject selection:

1. It is a general policy that U.S. postage stamps and stationery primarily will feature American or American-related subjects. Other subjects can be considered if the subject had significant impact on American history or culture.

2. The Postal Service will honor living men and women who have made extraordinary contributions to American society and culture. These remarkable individuals through their transformative achievements in their respective fields have made enduring contributions to the United States of America.

3. Commemorative stamps or postal stationery items honoring individuals usually will be issued to celebrate births, anniversaries, and significant contributions.

4. A memorial stamp will be issued honoring deceased U.S. presidents following death.

5. Events of historical significance shall be considered for commemoration on anniversaries in multiples of 50 years.

6. Themes of widespread national appeal and significance that reflect our nation's inclusiveness, events and persons will be considered for commemoration. Official postal cancellations, which may be arranged through the local postmaster, may be requested for significant local events or commemorations.

7. Statehood anniversary commemorative postage stamps will be issued at intervals of 50 years from the date of the state's first entry into the Union. Requests for observance of other state-related or regional anniversaries will be considered as subjects for postal stationery at intervals of 50 years from the date of the event.

8. Requests for commemoration of universities and other institutions of higher education shall be considered for stamped cards in connection with the 200th anniversaries of their founding.

9. No stamp shall be considered for issuance if one treating the same subject has been issued in the past 50 years. The exceptions to this rule are traditional themes such as national symbols and holidays.

10. The stamp program commemorates positive contributions to American life, history, and culture; therefore, disasters will not be commemorated on U.S. postage stamps or stationery.

11. Due to the limitations placed on annual postal programs and the vast number of such locales, organizations and institutions in existence, it would be difficult to single out any one of the following for commemoration: government agencies, localities, non-profit organizations, associations, and similar entities. Stamps or stationery items shall not be issued to honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs.

12. Stamps may be issued for the major military services (Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines) on 50-year anniversaries (or multiples) of their current organizational structure. Stamps for the major service academies will be considered on a case-by-case basis for 50-year anniversaries (or multiples). Due to the large number of individual units with the military services, stamps will not be issued to honor individual groups or units within the military.


As per Point #2, it would seem the CSAC is going to have to establish their own version of what qualities a living person would have to live up to to fit into the category of "extraordinary contributions to American society and culture", as that can be viewed very differently by different people. Do sports stars or entertainers make "extraordinary contributions" to society and culture? Do businessmen whose sole purpose in life is to make a dollar fit that criteria (i.e. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, etc.)?

It was mentioned in one place I read that someone suggested the Rev. Billy Graham, but I think that would be unlikely because Point #11 excludes those associated with "religious undertakings or beliefs".

I wonder if this change will increase the number of stamps we can expect to see from the US Postal Service in coming years? If we issue more stamps because we now will allow living persons to be depicted on them, I can see our stamp catalogs growing both in size and in price to identify them all!

Looking at it from the other extreme, will the increased number of different individuals appearing on stamps mean that the quantities of stamps issued will be higher, lower or the same as most present issues? That in itself could determine if any one specific issue may become more collectible than another.

I guess we just wait and see what develops.
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Edited by wt1 - 09/27/2011 9:19 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 09/27/2011   11:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Stamp collectors with an eye for the bottom line surely wish the US Postal Service had featured living people on postage stamps long before now, because those stamps of O.J. Simpson and Pete Rose would really be worth something. And who wouldn't want to receive a Rosh Hashanah message with a Mel Gibson stamp on the envelope, or a "congratulations on finishing rehab" card with a stamp featuring a smiling Charlie Sheen?


The above quote is from this Boston Globe newspaper blog which I think got it mostly right (in my opinion) ... the only error is that Justin Bieber is Canadian-born and thankfully would not qualify for the honor:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/e...1=News_links

For those who don't care to participate in the localized vote of which living Massachusetts personality should be depicted on a stamp, here's the vote tally as of this time. (In this case, I'm with the majority, as I voted for no one, too!)


Quote:
No one. It's a horrible idea. 58.37%
Conan O'Brien 9.95%
Steven Tyler 9.5%
Mark Wahlberg 8.6%
Barbara Walters 4.98%
Michael Dukakis 4.52%
Donna Summer 1.81%
Geena Davis 1.36%
Jack Welch 0.9%

Total Votes: 221
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Edited by wt1 - 09/28/2011 12:00 am
Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 10/02/2011   01:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I happened to read this "Letter to the Editor" this evening that provides an excellent explanation as to why we shouldn't honor living individuals on US postage stamps. It says, in part:


Quote:
We as a society cannot and should not put someone up on a pedestal not even a postage stamp when there are so many instances of hypocrisy, scandal, addictions, dysfunction, betrayal or falling short of expectations. We must cease equating popularity with worthiness.

Let us admire the good traits of living people. Let us all strive to do better ourselves. But let us not get so enthralled or arrogant that we enshrine ourselves.


I thought the entire article is worth sharing, so I provide the link here:

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/arti...|FRONTPAGE|s
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