Friday links! Terror of rejection edition

Today’s link roundup is not so much organized around a central theme as compiled under a certain mindset: abject social terror. In what seemed like a brilliant tactical move for the thirty seconds that it took me to execute it, I agreed to participate in a bachelor auction this evening. Now I will finally get a chance to live out my lifelong dream of seeing just how little people want to go on a date with me expressed as a monetary value, from a stage. Needless to say, I will be drunk. Until then, I will think about it, and any typos or unsubstantiated allegations that appear in today’s blog are likely the result of me experiencing an anxiety blackout and regressing to childhood. I’m kidding, of course. As a functioning adult with a job and an apartment, I go on tons of dates all the time and no longer fear rejection on the individual or community level. I also invented hockey.

At least there’s one fewer bully out there, thanks to the tireless efforts of New York law enforcement officials who recently saw the inefficacy of their earlier, very tired efforts published in the New York Times. Vitaly Borker, online glasses merchant and previous subject of a Friday link, has been arrested on multiple counts of fraud and harassment. A district court judge in lower Manhattan has denied him bail, remarking that Borker either “had an explosive personality” or was “verging on psychotic.” Neither is good. Borker also owns an assault rifle, although it seems likely that the police took that away. While he waits to find out if he’s going to prison for the next thirty years, they’re just going to, you know, hold that for him.

Meanwhile, among people who do not have to sell fake glasses on the internet to make ends meet, Randall Lane at the Daily Beast reveals the secrets of Obama’s poker club. With the President’s utter failure to call the Republican bluff on the Bush tax cuts as his backdrop, Lane reports that Obama is a good, conservative player but “a lousy bluffer.” His evidence is that all of the President’s poker buddies agree that he never bluffs. Randall Lane, you do not understand poker. The man who has a reputation as an avid bluffer is, by definition, a terrible bluffer, and the man who is believed to never bet unless he has the cards is doing it right. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many ways in which the principles of good poker apply to politics not at all.

Meanwhile, in other legal news pertaining to immigrants, a Michigan court of appeals has released this opinion describing the most insane custody battle ever. There’s some tedious legal writing to plough through before you get to the good stuff, which includes Hamed H. Zaidan’s plan for him and his new wife to move back in with his ex-wife, and his instructions to his minor children that they are honor-bound to kill their adult sister, who disobeyed him. Guess which 1300 year-old book Hamed Zaidan considers the infallible blueprint for a perfect society? The footnotes also contain some awesome dry legal wit, including, “Counseling a child that it is the child’s duty to kill the child’s sister could certainly have a significant effect on the child’s well-being.”

Continuing her own plan to significantly affect everyone’s well-being, Christine O’Donnell has formed a political action committee. She hopes that the organization, tentatively named Christine PAC, will generate enough money to run “independent expenditure efforts.” Exactly what those independent expenditures will be remains unclear, but they probably will have nothing to do with O’Donnell’s not having a job since 2006. The FEC investigation into her 2008 campaign finances is still underway, so now seems like the perfect time to create a slush fund. No word from her yet on whether she will run again for Senate in 2012, either. “”I’m not thinking about it,” O’Donnell said. “Who knows. Right now I have the very short-term goals of establishing the PAC and reforming the [Republican Party] infrastructure in Delaware.” Ah, the short-term project of restructuring a statewide political apparatus. Is there anything Christine O’Donnell can’t do? Oh yeah: everything she’s ever attempted. It’s probably just that she didn’t get enough donations.

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