Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Nomination That Has Nothing To Do With The RNC

Just wanted to share a bit of great news that I learned yesterday - "Independent Thinking" has been nominated for "Best Podcast" in the LA Weekly Web Awards 2012...! Very exciting - I have just passed the nine-month mark with the podcast, and being recognized by a publication as widely-read as the LA Weekly as one of the best podcasts around is a really great honor and will, hopefully, bring a few new curious folks to the show...

If you happen to read this on August 30, 2012 and it is still before midnight, there is still time for you to vote. Just follow this link to the Web Awards Voting. And thanks to everyone who clicked buttons to get the show nominated in the first place.

Other news - I have four days to go in a fundraising effort over on, to try to increase exposure for the show, buy a few pieces of equipment that would make live videocasting possible, etc. etc. The details are all over at the IndieGoGo Project. Four days and around $2,500 to go - if you can help out at all, please do, and thanks in advance.

Here's a video that goes with the fundraiser:

If you check out the video on the IndieGoGo page, you can see me hula-hooping. First time on video, EVER.

The funds raised will be going towards improvements to the show, some marketing and packaging, which will hopefully result in some advertising revenue and lead to the show becoming self-sustaining. And green. Synergy! (Sorry, feel like I'm spouting buzzwords whenever I ask people to contribute to something I'm doing...) But, I swear, any money raised will go to a good cause - dolphin-free tuna...

Here's something - a design that will be the new logo for the show and will go on business cards that I'll be able to share when I run into famous people at the Whole Foods and around town, and I can ask them to come on the show, and I'll look legit. Check it out:

We can be Heroes, just for one day.
So, nominated, IndieGoGo, new card design...yep, that's it for now. Back to your lives! Tomorrow on the show, it's "Fridays With Dean" and my good friend, comedian/musician Dean Evans back to talk about the week's events. Hope you'll join us.


"Independent Thinking With Steve Gelder" streams live on and, every weekday morning at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern. 

Follow me on Twitter: @SteveGelder

or Facebook:  Independent Thinking with Steve Gelder

Don't even ask about MySpace. I still kinda have one, but much like parts of eastern Europe, it's cold and scary and no one there speaks without a heavy Vlad the Impaler accent. Even the women.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Identifying The Problem With I.D.s

Voter I.D. laws are very popular, quite suddenly, this election cycle. To hear some politicians speak about and defend the new laws and proposals, you would think that we have a rampant problem with fraudulent, in-person voting here in the United States, with tens of thousands of votes shaking the concept of fair elections to the core.

The reality is, there are 10 verified cases of voter fraud in the entire country, since 2000. So, less than one incidence per year, spread out over 50 states. But, still, pretty scary, right?

So, what's the harm in requiring people show a valid photo i.d.? Just seems logical, right? I mean, most of you reading this probably have a valid i.d. in your pocket, so everyone else probably does, too, as far as you're concerned.

But, what about people like 70-year old Vietnam vet Donald Birch? I found this picture and message on Facebook the other day:

Donald Birch and a State-issued birth certificate that the State refuses to accept. Ta-daaaa.

"70 year old husband told he could not use his birth certificate for ID in NJ MVD, because it did not have his middle name on it. He picked his middle name at confirmation to the church 63 years ago, but the MVD refuses Catholic documents. His DD214 form from Viet Nam era veteran contains his middle name, as does his social security card, our marriage license, lease etc. He can't show proof of who he is, and he has driven since age 16. This is a law, enacted by Gov Christie, and they want voter ID in Jersey. This is religeous discrimination, and for seniors a hugh problem, esp for seniors who picked their confirmation names at confirmation. We need to have all of you helping seniors get their ID's, drivers licenses etc. For women, it's even worse. It is costly to get all these documents as well."

Now, I am a former Catholic (after converting while engaged to a Catholic girl who didn't marry me - I am a very, very lapsed Catholic). I don't know what the rules for confirmation and middle names were back in the 1950s. But here is a man who, clearly, has earned the right to vote i every election we hold. He fought in Vietnam for you and your rights; he deserves the same.

I contacted Don and his wife, Edna, and invited them to come on my show. Here's the response I received from her:

"I am almost totally deaf from a MVA and so it's hard for me to be on your radio show.  You may however put my husband's picture and our story on your website.  FYI we are being featured in the annual ACLU NJ flier for this year because they have been fighting this law.

This has been hard because we have no proof who Don is without using his birth certificate. They removed his middle name frm his driver's license, but Nj requires six points, meaning he has to show six documents without a middle name.  Our marriage certificate, his DD214 from the Army, Viet Nam era, lease, car payment, car insurance, etc all have his middle initial or name on it, as does his social security card. So if they won't accept a catholic church confirmation notorized, I'm not sure how we can prove six points to get the license renewed.

This is a homeland security law from 2005, True ID that I never really heard of before. I don't know why it is being enacted,and Christie lied to us, saying you can't enter a federal building, or fly without this ID. THis is false, 23 states have opted out, meaning until all 50 states accept it, you will be able to enter a building or fly. 

I am 68 and disabled, I had to show every document for every name change and all had to carry the state seal where they originated and this cost alot of money.  I have been married twice, so I had to show my certificate of live birth, first marriage cert, divorce papers ( which they did not want to accept as they did not have my middle initial on it), my second marriage certificate, lease, utility bill etc. 

Even though we now have a Dem. legislature, legislation has been introduced for voter ID in NJ.  There will be millions of Catholics who will not have their middle name on their birth certificates because they chose that name at confirmation.

I have written to the US Bishops trying to get them interested in fighting this law, and also am hoping our ACLU flier gets national attention. 

What is ironic, in NJ they want to use the True ID law for 8 years, meaning a man or woman over 70 can get a driver's license for 8 years, with no eye test, no mental status test, physical ability to drive etc.  We have a 90 year old neighbor, who just got a 8 year license, does that make sense?  yet NJ is more interested in a man, whose 70 having his middle name on his birth certificate, then his ability to operate a motor vehicle.

I am trying to help people who are in states that have voter ID, to let them know they may run into a problem if their middle name is not on the birth certificate, or if the state refuses to accept church documents. 

This is taking away our freedom, and I don't care if your Independant, Democrat or Republican you should be concerned if you are a senior, trying to show an ID.  You certainly can discuss our case on your show, and also tell them about the website. The more we get the word out the better, and I have had alot of positive responses.

We need to get a grassroots action to help seniors get their ID's, but we also have to alert them to the fact that their state may not accept their confirmation or baptism, in addition to their birth certificate

Edna Birch
Carneys point, NJ"

There are other examples of stipulations and barriers being placed in the path of others trying to get their identifications so they can vote. If you follow this link to the Daily Kos, you'll see someone else's story of trying to get their free I.D. in Pennsylvania, with no success: Pennsylvania Voter I.D.

This is wrong. We should be encouraging people to vote, not discouraging them by giving them new hoops to jump through, by taking away online registration (again, Pennsylvania - which is one of the States that could be "up for grabs" this year). These are cheap, election-year ploys to prevent and discourage the elderly, the poor and minorities from getting out to vote.

This is - was - America. And I, as an American, am disgusted and outraged. If you are, too, spread the word. And vote. People like Don Birch fought so you had the right to do so.

Will you fight for him?

•   •   •   •   •

"Independent Thinking With Steve Gelder" airs on and, every weekday morning at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern. Past episodes are available on iTunes and

Follow me on Twitter: @SteveGelder

"Follow, lead or get out of the way."
                        ~ Thomas Paine

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Self-Indulgent Self-Promotion (Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?)

BREAKING NEWS: I'm happy to announce that coming back on "Independent Thinking" next Wednesday, August 22nd, is Gov. Buddy Roemer, one of my favorite Republicans and one of the best candidates during this most recent election cycle. He wasn't allowed on the national stage, but he had a strong base of supporters. He is currently working on something new called The Reform Project, and we'll find out what he hopes to accomplish with that group this coming Wednesday - 10AM PDT/1PM EDT on or

In other news - I've started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the show. I'm really happy with the way the audience has grown over the nine months, and I think the time is right to make a push to grow the show - putting up an official website, adding video when covering special live events, hiring on a publicist and possibly an intern to help with the booking of guests. It takes a lot of work to produce a daily radio show and I'd love to have some assistance.

Here's the video from YouTube that explains the fundraiser. Please, enjoy the Hula-Hooping!

You likey..? If so, then, please:


If you can stop by and give a couple of dollars (you don't have to select a perk, and every dollar helps) please do. If you're looking to advertise a product, event, or show, you can buy ads on "Independent Thinking" and reach tens of thousands of listeners from a world-wide audience. And, hopefully, as the show gets bigger, people will still be listening to the archived episodes and hearing your ads. It is, as they say in advertising and promotion, a "win-win."

Thanks for watching and helping, if you can. If you can't afford to give money, please share the Indiegogo site with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit - wherever! Spread the word!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Showing Up In The Polls...

Tomorrow morning on the show, showbuddy Suzanne O'Keeffe, author of the upcoming book, "Heal The Money", will join me int he studio once again, to discuss the LIBOR scandal - what it is, how it happened, and what effect it will have on world markets. It's one of the largest financial scandals in history and the news barely mentions it.

In the meantime, check out this little bit of news - the show has made its first "Top List" (at least, the first that I'm aware of) - we're number 359 out of over 1200 shows on the Top Ranking Podcasts in News and Politics" at!

Thanks for you support - I hope you'll keep listening, and definitely keep thinking independently...!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Got A Minute To Help The Show...?

LA Weekly, the local weekly "what's happening around town" free paper here in Los Angeles, is looking for votes for the 2012 Web Awards. If you take a moment to vote for "Independent Thinking With Steve Gelder" as #8, Best Podcast, you will make a unicorn get a new puppy.

LA Weekly Web Awards 2012

Seriously: you can make this happen.

Thanks in advance!



Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity Kills It...!

Congratulations and amazing job to NASA, who successfully landed the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars last night, withing something, like, 250 meters of their target...?!  Wow!

If you've listened to the show, you know I'm kind of a science geek. This video shows some of the incredible calculations and remote functionality of everything involved with landing the rover safely.

I think it also shows much style and heightened drama we require every video contain, these days. The moody lighting, the heavy music cues - it's all a part of the look and feel every reality show goes for when they want you to feel that pulse-pounding sense of drama over minor decisions. This is dramatic enough to me as an accomplishment, alone - but I get why they're adding some production value.

•   •   •   •   •

"Independent Thinking With Steve Gelder" airs on &, every weekday morning at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern. 

Follow me on Twitter: @SteveGelder

or Facebook:  Independent Thinking with Steve Gelder

“Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men, the other 999 follow women”
                                            ~ Groucho Marx