Saturday, October 29, 2016

Free Stories! Happy Halloween!

I know it's not Halloween yet, but I get up really early in the morning for work and so I figured I'd put this out there now, lest I forget. As a Halloween gift for all my fans out there, I am setting TWO of my Kindle stories FREE on for that day only.

The first one is "I am the Wendigo," my first professionally-published story. I sold it in 2006 to a webzine called Chimaera Serials that no longer exists. Like many authors whose work has gone out of print, I found it quite nice to have an easy republishing route and I've made about as much if not more as an indie that I was paid for the first rights.

The second one is "Melon Heads." I wrote that one when I was in college after reading about the Melon Heads, an urban legend centered in rural Ohio, on the Internet. I tinkered with it over the years and ultimately revised the story to be a dark comedy based on suggestions from Katherine Mankiller.

Both of these stories bear the Sean C.W. Korsgaard stamp of approval.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin Ought To Collaborate

In order to make sure the 2016 U.S. presidential election goes into the House of Representatives and consequently somebody better than Donald Trump (a lecherous authoritarian oaf who isn't the great businessman his supporters think) or Hillary Clinton (who will tilt the Supreme Court leftward, is opposed to gun rights, will empower the "illiberal left", and may get the US into more confrontations abroad) becomes president, the two most significant third-party candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson and #NeverTrump Republicans' unofficial nominee Evan McMullin, should enter into a vote-sharing arrangement.

This idea is not my own. Casey Cho, an online pen-pal whom you can follow on Twitter here, suggested that Johnson and McMullin enter into an arrangement to maximize each others' chances of winning electoral votes and pushing the election into the House. 

To that end, Gary Johnson voters should support McMullin in Utah and other states in the "Mormon cultural sphere" (Casey said Idaho and Wyoming) and McMullin supporters should vote for Johnson everywhere else. This would be especially crucial in New Mexico, where Johnson was a popular governor and where people are predicting he could get an upset victory. I'm not basing my position on one news story--here's another source citing Republicans defecting to Johnson in the aftermath of Trump's "Grope-Gate."

Why, do you ask? According to the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, if no candidate gets a certain number of electoral votes (270 in this election), the contest goes to the House of Representatives. Congress will then pick from the top three electoral vote earners. This has not happened since 1824's infamous "Corrupt Bargain" election. No third-party candidate has won any states since 1968, so this has never been a realistic possibility, even though Ross Perot pulled nearly 20% in 1992.

Until now.

Before McMullin entered, I assumed that #NeverTrump Republicans would support Johnson by default. In one poll, in one district in Utah, Johnson was tied with Clinton and Trump, so the possibility he could get electoral votes in Utah (historically Republican, but owing to conservative Mormons not likely to support the libertine Donald Trump) and push a close election into the House was a very real possibility. 

However, McMullin, a Mormon himself and more palatable than the pro-choice pro-legalization-of-drugs Johnson to Utah's Mormon majority, came in. Now McMullin is polling 22% in Utah, just 4% behind the tied Trump and Clinton, while Johnson is polling at 14%. This article claims McMullin is in a statistical tie with the Big Two. If even half of Johnson's supporters in Utah vote McMullin, that could be enough to push him over the top and secure Utah's six electoral votes. Trump may yet collapse further to McMullin's benefit, but given the reality's of America's electoral system, this is the easiest way.

McMullin doesn't appear to be a significant factor in New Mexico and Johnson, depending on the polls, is as few as four points behind Trump and Clinton and as many as 14, in order for Johnson to push ahead of the Big Two, all hands will need to be on deck for him and every little bit will help.

Depending on how the states break down November 8, a McMullin victory in Utah and a Johnson victory in New Mexico alone might push the election into the House. In that case, McMullin will be the third candidate, not Johnson (Utah has six electoral votes, New Mexico five), but depending on how badly Trump implodes and how much damage Wikileaks does to Clinton, there might be more states in play.

Still, Johnson can't win Utah at this point and McMullin sure as heck can't win New Mexico. Working together is the only way I can think of that they can win electoral votes and (potentially) stop Trump and Clinton.

So make this go viral. Make Mr. Johnson and Mr. McMullin take notice of it. We can still save the Republic.