Monday, December 31, 2007

Love of Stamps

Fred Gresch, 88, of Hampstead, N.H. is featured in an article that appears on the Eagle-Tribune website.

In 1930, Gresch (shown at right) was playing tag with friends when he decided to jump roughly three feet to the ground from the Delaware River Bridge. The impact caused his right hip to push directly into his pelvis and he subsequently spent eight months in the hospital, undergoing 27 operations.

To help Gresch pass the time in his hospital bed, compassionate nurses offered to assist him in starting a stamp collection. The nurses would collect mailed envelopes about to be trashed by fellow patients and help Gresch cut the stamps out of them.

“I hardly spent anything at all on my stamps,” he said. “They had them and just gave them to me. I accumulated quite a few of them. I was a bit of a pack rat.”

Gresch is quoted in the article as saying, "They bought some albums for me. I remember my mother thanked them very much. I still have the albums.”

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year stamps from India

India Post has released New Year greetings stamps.

Director-General of Posts I.M.G. Khan is quoted on the website that India Post would aggressively market its stamps in India and through sales and exhibitions of Indian stamps at its missions abroad.

“Stamps represent the culture and achievements of a nation. People all over the world want our stamps. But the department has been failing in marketing them properly,” he said.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on the stamps of India, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Queen and Country stamp collection reports that a local war hero has been remembered on a set of stamps in the Queen and Country stamp collection at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Queen and Country by artist Steve McQueen consists 98 facsimile commemorative stamps editions each bearing the face of a British soldier killed in Iraq. McQueen worked directly with the bereaved families, asking them to choose the images for the stamps.

The deceased names, regiment, age and date of death are printed in the margin.

Karen and Mick Thornton gave consent for their son's image to be used on a stamp as a way of remembering him. Lee Thorton was killed in Iraq last year serving in the British military.

Mrs. Thorton, shown above with a sheet of stamps featuring her son, is quoted in the article as saying, "I can't think of a more fitting memorial to the memory of Lee than seeing his face on stamps which will be seen by millions of people in the UK. This is just a brilliant cause and one well worth supporting.

According to the article, "It is hoped that the stamp collection could one day be commissioned by Royal Mail and a campaign to bring this to fruition has already received support from all the families involved."

For more on the controversial Queen and Country collection, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, December 28, 2007

New US stamps for 2008

What do Bette Davis, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and Latin jazz have in common? They’re some of the subjects recognized in the Postal Service’s 2008 stamp program according to a USPS Press Release.

In the release, Postmaster General John Potter is quoted as saying, “This stamp series celebrates our greatest creative minds, our groundbreaking heroes, and the places, institutions and values that have made us who we are. We’re proud to be able to highlight noteworthy parts of our shared American history on stamps that people will use every day to connect with family and friends."

While Frank Sinatra will get his own stamp, he is not part of Legends of Hollywood series. That honor goes to Bette Davis. Davis becomes the 14th inductee into the series on the 100th anniversary of the year of her birth.

Shown above,in a USPS photo, artist Michael Deas of Brooklyn Heights, NY, based his painting for the stamp on a black-and-white still of Davis made during the filming of All About Eve (1950). The selvage, or margin, photograph is a black-and-white still from Jezebel.

To see the new stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Plan ahead to sell your collection

With the New Year approaching, it's time to start thinking about making some New Year's resolutions - one of which should be making a plan to dispose of your collection should you die unexpectedly.

Michael Echols, DDS writes on the collectibles website, "The question you have to answer is who will sell your collection and how. The choices you make now will pay rewards to your family at a time when they don't have the desire or knowledge to do research to sell your collection. People often put off this kind of planning, like their will, because no one expects to die suddenly. But, it happens and we all know it."

He goes on to say, "Now, I'm not talking about putting a page in your will to tell your family your wishes that your buddy Fred will take care of your collection. I'm talking about a full-blown liquidation plan made by the person who knows your collection"

To read Dr. Echols thought provoking article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa delivers

The Postal Service always delivers express mail packages on Christmas in major metro areas, but few carriers deliver the Christmas spirit like Doug Fischer according to the ABC-TV affiliate in Denver, CO.

For the last ten years, he’s been dropping off last-minute express mail packages on Christmas day, dressed as the jolly old man.

Fischer is quoted as saying, "It’s all worth it for reactions like that of Marissa Hoover, 4, who danced around and ran to hug Santa when she saw him at her door."

To read the entrie article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The first Christmas stamp

According to several on-line sources, the first postage stamps for Christmas were issued in 1937 by Austria.

They are referred to in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue as "Christmas Greeting" stamps. Shown above, they feature a rose and zodiac signs.

Canada issued a stamp in 1898 which had Christmas written on it, but it was not specifically a Christmas issue. It was actually issued to mark the inauguration of the Imperial Penny Postage rate.

The first US Christmas stamp was issued in 1962.

For more on Christmas stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, December 24, 2007

Free Christmas present for stamp collectors

South Africa Post has a nice Christmas present for stamp collectors around the world.

They are offering a free downloadable copy of Exploring the Fascinating World of Stamps. The 36-page color booklet is loaded with information about stamps and stamp collecting.

Once you print it out, I suggest you take it to your local quick printers and have them bind it for you. A nice spiral binding with a clear plastic cover should only cost a couple dollars.

This a wonderful gift for both advanced and beginning collectors. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

To download your copy, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, December 23, 2007

America Supports You

Every year, hundreds of thousands of cards, letters and care packages addressed to “A Recovering American Soldier” (or a variant thereof), are returned to senders according to a write up on the America Supports You website.

For a variety of reasons—documented on,, in this article, and on Walter Reed’s Web site — a 2001 Defense Department policy forbids the delivery of generically addressed mail to service members.

Instead, the DOD encourages people to send mail to one of two homefront groups associated with the America Supports You program:

Soldiers’ Angels
1792 E. Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104

Or, for those in the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-area:

We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD 20763-0419

Both Soldiers’ Angels and the Red Cross will collect, screen and deliver the well-wishes of those who want to brighten the day of a wounded service member who is recovering away from home this holiday season.

Shown above, parade float in the Orlando Christmas Parade.

For more on America Supports You, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Give stamp collecting a chance

The New Straits Times in Maylasia ran an article recently promoting stamp collecting and asking its readers to give the hobby a chance.

Writer Su Aziz pens, "Now, before you think it is the silliest thing to do in this almost paperless world, give postage stamp collecting a chance. Or at least this article about stamp collecting."

He goes on to say, "About 30 years ago, Mum would think up activities to keep me occupied, especially during school holidays. There were plenty of activities she thought up but few remained as a hobby with me — reading and postage stamp collecting are the only two."

After giving readers tips on how to get their children started collecting stamps, he concludes with, "Once they are into the stamp-in-the-water bit, they will miraculously sit quietly and wait for the drying out too. That will give you a few hours of peace."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, December 21, 2007

Charles W. Chesnutt stamp

On January 31, 2008, in Cleveland, Ohio, the Postal Service™ will issue a 41-cent, Charles W. Chesnutt commemorative stamp in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 462800).

With the 31st stamp in the Black Heritage series, the U.S. Postal Service honors Charles W. Chesnutt, a pioneering writer recognized today as a major innovator and singular voice among turn-of-the-century literary realists who probed the color line in American life.

According to a USPS news releases, art director Howard Paine of Delaplane, Virginia wanted a stamp that emphasized Chesnutt’s intelligence and dignity; the portrait painted by stamp artist Kazuhiko Sano of Mill Valley, California, is based on a 1908 photograph from the special collections of Fisk University’s Franklin Library.

For more on Charles W. Chesnutt, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Errors of Design

Stanley Gibbons is offering a free downloadable article by Oliver Andrew which looks at mistakes that have been made in showing maps on stamps — some deliberate, others in error.

According to Andrew, "There are two basic kinds of design error in maps. One is a straightforward misrepresentation(areas missing, added, or misnamed, for example). The second is a truerepresentation as far as the issuing authority goes, but which is false as far as anotherterritory is concerned. The second kind of course is a sort of propaganda, and is almost always deliberate.

Shown above, in the set of stamps issued by Italy in 1961, the L. 170 value shows the territory of Argentina shaded, but does not include Tierra del Fuego, part of which is claimed by Argentina, nor does it show the Falkland Islands, also claimed by Argentina.

To download the pdf, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Operation Christmas Tree

The USPS News Link reports that it took just five days for USPS and the Military Postal Service (MPS) to ship 5,000 donated Christmas trees from Maryland to Camp Mosul, Iraq.

U.S. Army postal personnel at Camp Mosul loaded Christmas trees in a sea-land container for delivery to other bases in Iraq.

The trees were then delivered by MPS in Iraq, in less than a week in most cases.

The shipment — enough to fill 61 pallets in two 53-foot semi trailers — was for the nonprofit organization Operation Christmas Tree.

The journey began in Westminster, MD, as 350 Operation Christmas Tree volunteers prepared and addressed the packages to individual service members. USPS picked them up Dec. 3 and trucked them to Newark, NJ, where they were prepared and loaded on a Boeing 747.

The trees arrived in Bahrain on Dec. 5 and were sorted for Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait. Deliveries were reported Dec. 7 in Balad, Iraq and Dec. 8 in Camp Mosul.

For more on Operation Chritmas Tree, click here.

Photo courtesy of Kalitta Air.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Postal pedal power

The USPS News Link reports that the Sun City, AZ, Main Post Office is using pedal power to lower its fuel costs.

According to the report, its letter carriers ride bicycles on 37 delivery routes — saving USPS $24,000 in annual gasoline costs at current prices. Bicycle delivery conserves 7,800 gallons of gasoline annually when compared to Long Life Vehicle delivery and eliminates 25,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

All Sun City carriers with bike routes received new wheels in November. “We’re thankful to have our fleet replaced,” Sun City Postmaster Mark Strong said. “Now our red, white and blue fleet of bicycles can maintain green delivery.”

In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes.

Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.

Shown above in a USPS photo, Sun City, AZ, Letter Carrier Terry Hesselrode.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, December 17, 2007

No truth to British stamp rumor

The UK's Church Times reports Royal Mail tried this week to end the rumor that that there was some sort of plot to end Christian Christmas stamps.

This year's Chirstmas stamps consisted of one set of six different angels, and another of two images of the Madonna and Child.

As soon as the new stamps were issued in November, emails began to circulate saying that the stamps were not advertised, were hard to obtain, and that there was “no demand” for Christian Christmas stamps.

According to the article, "One email, referring to a purported statement from an unidentified postmaster, said that post offices had been instructed by head office not to offer the stamps openly for sale, and to sell them only if specially asked for. One said that the sales clerk had to check with his supervisor before issuing a Christmas stamp. Other emails said that the angel stamps were readily available, but the Madonna stamp had to be asked for by name."

A Royal spokesman is quoted as saying that the two issues were a trial run of a plan to issue one set of Christian-themed stamps and one set of secular-themed stamps every Christmas beginning next year.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Philately will get you everywhere

Roundup reader Svend Waever sends along an interesting article in the UK's Daily Mail about a new study that shows philatelists are more successful than the rest of the population in their adult lives.

According to the piece written by reporter James Mill, researchers found that 74 per cent of philatelists are university educated, compared with only 20 per cent of the general public. And nearly half earn more than £30,000 a year - nearly £7,000 more than the national average.

Child behaviour expert Eileen Hayes is quoted in the article as saying she was not surprised to learn that young stamp collectors tend to make a success of their lives.

"Stamp collecting develops several key skills such as persistence, attention to detail and patience, all of which contribute largely to the ability of people to succeed academically, in their careers and, ultimately, in their lives," she said.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stickers on stamps annoy collectors

Some New Zealand stamp collectors are angry with a postal company whose stickers are making it difficult for them to keep British stamps from the Christmas mail according to Giles Brown of The Press.

They say stickers placed on the mail by the DX Mail company mean they cannot retrieve the UK stamps which they usually keep and add to their collections.

DX Mail won the contract this year to process British mail coming into New Zealand.

Veteran philatelist Lucille Ibbit is quoted as saying, "It's quite disgusting. Normally it is just the New Zealand Post and they scribble over the stamp to cancel it. This is a big sticker right over it."

Ibbit, who has been collecting stamps for nearly 60 years, said placing the sticker over the stamp was unnecessary.

"They don't need to put it right over the stamp. They could just place it below it."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Frank Sinatra stamp unveiled

Nancy, Frank Jr. and Tina Sinatra (in red jacket) joined officials from the U.S. Postal Service Dec. 12, 2007 in unveiling the stamp that will honor their father when issued next spring.

“Our father loved this country,” said the Sinatra family, represented by Nancy, Frank Jr. and Tina Sinatra. “This would have been one of his happiest days.”

According to USPS press release, "Art director Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, AZ, worked with stamp artist Kazuhiko Sano of Mill Valley, CA, to create the image based on a 1950s photograph of the entertainment icon."

"The stamp depicts Sinatra’s charismatic smile, trademark fedora and cobalt blue eyes that earned him the nickname "Old Blue Eyes.”

Sinatra’s autograph also appears on the stamp.

Unveiling photo courtesy of Michael Jones, USPS.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Free Postman Pat coloring sheet

Postman Pat and Jess the Cat send their holiday greetings along with news from Greendale - the town's Christmas lights have been turned on.

In case you don't know who Postman Pat is...he's a character in a British children's television show.

According to Wikipedia, "Each episode followed the adventures of Pat Clifton, a friendly country postman, and his 'black and white cat' Jess, as he delivers the mail through the valley of Greendale. Although he initially concentrates on delivering his letters, he nearly always becomes distracted by an issue of one of the villagers and is usually relied upon to resolve their problems."

Pat has a free downloadable coloring sheet available by clicking here.

Click here
to visit his website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2007 Kehr Award

Andrew Oleksiuk, of Chicago, Illinois, has won the American Philatelic Society’s 2007 Ernest A. Kehr “Future of Philately” Award.

Established in 1991, the Kehr Award recognizes a philatelist who, for at least five years, has made philately attractive as a hobby to newcomers, worked directly with newcomers, especially young people, or developed and administered programs to recruit newcomers.

The award is named for Ernie Kehr, long an activist and patron in the field of junior philately. Kehr was the author of The Romance of Stamp Collecting in 1947, which had a major impact on two generations of new collectors.

Shown above in a photo taken by Randall Sherman, Oleksiuk mans the Stamps for Kids booth at the annual Taste of Chicago food festival.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, December 10, 2007

The dying art of stamp collection

Ranjani Raghavan writes on the Express India website, "When 54-year-old Kishore Chandak was in school, stamp collection was the ‘in’ thing for the boys. Not any more, he said — as jury head of the ‘Stampex’ Exhibition — which concluded on Sunday."

Not to be outdone by new technology, however, the society has targeted schools and students to rekindle the art of stamp collection. Of the 1,200 visitors at the exhibition on the first and second days, around 700 were students. This is the third time the society has organised a stamp exhibition since 1995, when it was kicked off. But this is the first time members went to schools to ask students to come by.

Raghavan goes on to say, "With the proliferation of the internet and with better telecommunication, stamp collectors in the city are bracing themselves for a future when stamps could become a rarity. However, they are doing their bit by promoting it as a hobby and as a topic of study — called ‘philately’ — besides providing advice to the postal department."

Shown above are India's rose and sandalwood scented stamps, which according to Raghavan, less than one per cent of the Indian population are aware of because India Post is not promoting the hobby.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, December 09, 2007

D.C. postmarks few and far between

The Washington Post reports D.C.'s identity is in danger of being lost in the mail.

Reporter Darragh Johnson writes, "The Washington, D.C., postmark is fading into oblivion, a casualty of the anthrax attacks of 2001. After two postal workers died at a Northeast facility, the Postal Service began farming mail to the suburbs."

Johnson goes on to say, "Now the only way to guarantee a D.C. postmark is to take it in person to a post office and ask a clerk to cancel it by hand. Otherwise, it's a spin of the roulette wheel."

According to the article, in an experiment conducted by The Post, 235 envelopes were mailed from every quadrant in the District -- from 22 Zip codes, from post offices and blue boxes, from the mail slots of corporations and apartment buildings.

"Twenty-four letters were delivered with a Washington D.C. postmark. A measly 10 percent," says Johnson.

To read the entire article, click here.

Shown above a postal employee dumps mail into a processor at a Gaithersburg facility, where most mail that originates in Washington is sent for sorting.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Military Mail Milestone

With holiday mailing in full force,this past Wednesday, Dec. 5 was a record-setting day for mail destined to American military personnel in the Iraq and Afghanistan according to USPS. Mail Terminal Services in Newark, NJ, a USPS-contracted company that prepares and ships mail to the war zones, processed 96 semi-trailers of mail — beating the 2006 record of 93.

“We know how important mail is for our service men and women overseas, and to their friends and families back home,” says Mike Nappi, Executive Director of International Operations. “We pull out all the stops to make sure that every card, letter and package is delivered for the holidays.”

Wednesday’s record of 686,000 pounds of mail was enough to fill four 747 aircraft.

Shown above is a USPS photo of single day’s worth of military mail at the Mail Terminal Services facility in Newark, NJ.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, December 07, 2007

UPU says snail mail still going strong

The United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) reports despite stiff competition from electronic communications, snail mail is still going strong.

In its worldwide statistics for 2006, the Berne, Switzerland-based UPU reported that with a total traffic of 433 billion mail items, domestic letter-post traffic rose slightly compared to the year before, while international mail was down two per cent.

The statistics were gathered from responses to a UPU questionnaire, to which 163 out of the 191 UPU member states responded.

The survey showed that the Swiss send the largest number of letters – 713 letters annually – while the Japanese send the most parcels, some 18.1 yearly.

The UPU also found that the world’s postal services employ more than 5.5 billion people. Vanuatu has the smallest postal staff globally with 37 employees, while with 796,199 employees, the United States has the largest.

With four post offices, the Vatican has the fewest number of them, while India, with the most, has 155,333.

To read the entire article, click here

Pictured above is one of the winners of the 2006 New Zealand Best Letterbox competition. To see more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Frank Sinatra stamp

CBS News reporter Lloyd de Vries (and Virtual Stamp Club moderater) is reporting on the CBS News website that Postmaster General John Potter has announced the singer Frank Sinatra will be commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp next spring.

Sinatra died May 14, 1998 and the stamp would mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

The design of the stamp will be released next week in Beverly Hills, Calif. The stamp was designed by Kazuhiko Sano. According to de Vries, the stamp pictures Sinatra in the mid-1950s.

A native of Japan, Sano studied painting in Tokyo before moving to San Francisco in 1974 to study at the Academy of Art College. He designed 12 of the 15 stamps in the Celebrate the Century series in 1999.

Quite a few other countries have already pictured Sinatra on their stamps. These include The Congo, Zaire, Somalia, Chad, Kyrgyzstan, Niger, Ghana, Gambia and Grenada.

Shown above is a pair of Sinatra stamps from Easdale Island. Easdale is a small island on the west coast of Scotland.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Minimum wage for German postal workers causes furor

According to Spiegel Online International the liberalization of the German postal market appears to be in doubt after one of Deutsche Post's main rivals announced sweeping job cuts and a second pulls out of the market in response to government plans to introduce a minimum wage for postal workers.

The Luxembourg-based Pin Group announced this week that it was cutting more than 1,000 jobs in Germany. The other company, TNT Post, announced that it would no longer be offering letter services for private customers in Germany and would restrict itself to business post.

"The company said that the planned minimum wage for postal workers in Germany meant its business model no longer made economic sense. "It's not possible to make a profit," TNT Post boss Mario Frusch told the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. "As long as we have this overly high minimum wage, there can be no normal competition here."

Germany is unusual in Western Europe in that it does not have an across-the-board minimum wage. Instead, the government can set minimum wages on a case-by-case basis for individual industry sectors. At the moment, only a few professions, such as builders, electricians and cleaners, benefit from a statutory minimum wage.

Shown above in an Associated Press photo, a demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus demands a minimum salary for postal workers.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:06 PM

Monday, December 03, 2007

Stamp pandering

"Mongolia stamps featuring the X-Men? What would Genghis Khan do?," writes Andrew Leonard of

Leonard writes, "One stamp dealer's advertisement listed for sale stamps picturing Elvis Presley issued by Burkina Faso, Chad stamps depicting Marilyn Monroe, Chechnya stamps picturing Groucho Marx, Grenada Grenadines stamps showing Bob (Elliot) and Ray (Goulding), Mongolia stamps with the Three Stooges and the X-Men, and Montserrat stamps with Jerry Garcia. Most of these stamps never reach the issuing country's shores, and are designed, produced, and marketed by a foreign agency to stamp collectors around the world."

He goes on to say, "How can you not love an economic treatise that introduces the concept of "stamp pandering?" and cites University of Michigan economist Joel Slemrod.

Slemrod believes well-governed poorer countries that do not have other means of readily raising funds engage in sovereignty-selling activities such as stamp pandering.

Shown above is an X-Men sheetlet from St. Vincent courtesy of

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:22 PM

New rules for USPS' Operation Santa

The South New Jersey Courier Post Online reports, "On the advice of legal counsel, Santa Claus is changing the way he does business."

According to the report (which orginally appeared in USA Today)the Postal Service is changing its "Operation Santa" program, in which letters to Santa are answered by volunteers who grant the children's Yuletide wishes.

Reporter Larry Copeland writes,"For nearly 100 years, Postal Service employees have sorted through the Santa letters and passed many on to volunteers, charitable groups and corporations that want to help. Volunteers could call an 800 number to receive information on a deserving child or go online to answer the Santa letters."

This year, for the first time, those volunteers will have to present photo identification and sign a waiver releasing the Postal Service from liability for "all causes of action, claims, liens, rights or interests of any kind or type whatsoever."

Sue Brennan, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, says the change was made "to protect the children and to protect the integrity of the program and the Postal Service."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Vanuatu's underwater post office

The Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific has a post office with a difference. It's underwater!

According to the Vanuatu Postal Administration website, "Situated within a marine sanctuary, the underwater post office is only 50 metres offshore and only three metres below the surface so it is very accessible to young and old alike. Hundreds of postal patrons have participated in posting one of the special waterproof postcards that are available."

"These cards are collected regularly by one of Vanuatu Post’s four trained scuba divers and 'cancelled' underwater with an embossing cachet. Mail that requires a normal underwater Post Office date stamp is cancelled in the main post office."

The Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean and is made up of 83 islands.

To find out more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ode to the common stamp

Dennis Volkert of the Sturgis Journal of Sturgis, MI writes, "Although joking about postage stamps is a Federal offense, serious discussion about them is within the law."

He goes on to say, "Not so long ago, there were typically only a couple of stamp choices. Many times, a president of the United States was the featured attraction. A president's face on a stamp meant business. If Dwight's mug was there, you knew your mail would be delivered in a timely manner, no matter what the military-industrial complex tried to do about it."

"People often joke about unreliable service from the U.S. Postal Service, but botches in deliveries are actually rare. Statistics show that on those occasions when mail isn't delivered, nine times out of 10, it's because the postal carrier was offended by the stamp the sender used."

To read the rest of his humorous ode to the common stamp, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM