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Ethernal vigilance is the price of liberty
Thomas Jefferson

      Victor Manta wrote: The good old times! After over a half of a century, I haven't experienced a reduction of postal rates yet.
    Stephen Suffet wrote:   Actually I recall several postal rate reductions here in the USA....
    Victor Manta answered: OK, I admit that, for polemical purposes, I exaggerated a bit (but not more then that). For sure there were postal rate reduction sometimes and somewhere in the world, but the general tendency that I have observed is that the postal rates increase and that this increase is bigger then the inflation rate of the currency for any particular country.
    I will take as example Switzerland, a country known for her stable currency. Two to three years ago Switzerland had an uniform rate for "normal" letters, of 70c, with next day delivery in the whole country. Then, suddenly, a new postal rate was introduced, named A - Priority, for the price of 90c (about $ 0.60, and a 28.5% increase), promising a guaranteed next day delivery. The old 70c rate was renamed B-Mail, with a 3 (!) days delivery. Please take in consideration that Switzerland is actually smaller than most of the US states. I was told, but it was at my knowledge neither officially confirmed, nor denied, that at time some B-Mail is artificially retained at post offices or in transiting centers, in order to be delivered later then the A-Mail...
    And something else yet, that will allow for a comparison and an explanation. One and a half years ago the Postal Services were in Switzerland a part of a bigger state monopoly, named PTT (Post, Telegraph, Telephone). The telecommunication part was partially privatized and the whole communication domain was somehow liberalized, permitting the entry of a limited number of private companies. After only a year, the connection prices have dropped considerably and we have on the telecommunication market a number of interesting options opened since then. Nothing similar in the domain of postal services, that remains here (as in most countries) a monopoly controlled by the government, with some advantages for few, paid by them and by the majority of others - and however typically with an adverse balance.

Posted the 4/2/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss

Ambraja wrote: Being somewhat observant, I have found that a good many people buying stamps   today are not collectors but more like opportunists.  I never buy from Ebay but  from my observations stuff like Princess Di, Elvis, Marlyn Monroe is selling easily and at a price no respectable collector would consider paying.
    V. Manta answered: I can only recall a remark of the Count Otto von Bismarck: "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others, and avoid the costs of my own".
    Dave wrote: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been trying to find a quote similar to this for a while. Would you have any objection to me using it as a signature quote for a while?

Posted the 4/11/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.marketplace

   Arlene  wrote: Congratulations to the people of Nunuvit, the third Canadian territory that officially came into existence today... It's not everyday that a new territory is created, and I think it is something to celebrate the peaceful and democratic process that went into it's creation.
    V.M. answered: Congratulation to NUNAVUT and to all Canadians for the new territory! There is a hope that the new territory will sell enough stamps to somehow reduce the economic support (over 80%) it needed till now and collected from the whole country through a peaceful and democratic process named taxation.

Posted the 4/2/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss

    V.M. The 22nd of April, 1999 the United States Postal Service will issue a stamp dedicated to the philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, philosophically one of the most challenging novels of this century. It is less known that Ayn Rand was also a passionate stamp collector. If interested, please find excerpts from her article "Why I Like Stamp Collecting" on my page:
Posted 4/7/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss
    Thank you so much for pointing me to this site.  I had no idea that Ayn Rand collected stamps.  I loved what she had to say about it.  She put into words what I had always believed... Mike Smith

    V.M. wrote: Collect yourself... or the wife of your neighbor, on stamps.
A new collecting domain was opened by the Australia Post at the Stamp Expo 1999 - Personalized Stamps. One could ask that his own face should be put on a stamp, on a place intentionally left free, near the nice image of Polly Woodside 19th century merchant barque. Then he could use the new created stamps as ordinary ones and send letters with his image anywhere he liked.
Australia Post hopes to have personalized stamps available nationwide for Christmas. It was not specified if only faces will be allowed as personalization feature.
I'm not very enthusiastic about the whole idea. Any comment?
Posted the 8/3/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss

just_say_no answered: I am with you Victor. I do not like the idea. First, I think stamps are not toys. They are somewhat like currency and should be treated as such, with some responsibility. Secondly, what keeps someone from putting something obscene on it (and this could be a matter of opinion)? I won't go on but what a bad idea from a country that has issued some great stamps recently.

I have searched for a definition of a set in all catalogues that I have (many :) and could find any. So I have proposed the following definition:  A set consists of stamps with a similar subject and design, which were all issued the same day. The next one that I propose is: Series are successions of sets, issued on different dates. Posted the 8/26/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss

 I think the distinction between "sets" and "series" is a good one. I can vote in favour, if we had that kind of thing. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I will adopt these definitions for my future site(s). Peter Galbavy.

I like the precision of the distinction, and it does make sense of the words. Victor's definitions have my vote. Peter D.


Revised: 01/08/00.
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