Today is the first, and to my knowledge only, holiday devoted to blogging. Though it has no cute mascots hiding in holes, Blogroll Amnesty Day does celebrate charity and giving, in the only way that a blogger can practice those virtues. It encourages us to send links to the less fortunate.
Founded by blogger Skippy the Bush Kangaroo following an unfortunate incident in which certain "A-list" bloggers decided to delete all of the small blogs from their link rolls (because Atrios and Kos aren't just bloggers anymore, they're media titans and political heavyweights, don't you know), the motives behind Blogroll Amnesty Day are best set forth by satirical blogger Jon Swift:
I adopted this policy in a spirit of both self-interest and altruism. In the blogosphere links are like capital. By offering links to others, others would be more inclined to offer links to me. But I am also very grateful to those who helped me out by throwing a link my way or adding me to their blogroll when I was just starting out. Now that I am a Large Mammal, according the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem, I have tried to return the favor by helping out those further down the food chain. And I also think linking to others who have linked to me is the polite thing to do. While I don't think my blogroll policy is enough to qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize like Al Gore or Rush Limbaugh, I do hope that my efforts to spread a little love around the blogosphere makes cyberspace a little safer for democracy. I believe it was those great conservative rockers the Beatles who said, "The love you make is equal to the love you take."
We agree that links are the capital of blogging, and we appreciate the links that we have received from much larger sites in the years of Popehat's existence, or in some cases dormancy. We have in turn adopted a liberal blogrolling policy. If links are indeed the capital of the internet, they are in particular the capital of blogging. A blogger who is generous with his links is a veritable George Bailey, who will find friends and to whom good things will come when all seems dark. A blogger who is stingy with his links, hoarding them for "straight news" sites rather than other bloggers, or one who limits them to bigger bloggers (whom he refers to on a first name basis, "Eugene," "Glenn," and "Andrew") is a Mr. Potter, who will die alone, surrounded only by the links he didn't give.
In the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day, we have or we're about to add a few smaller blogs to our roll, even without the reciprocity that is normally the tribute we demand, and to highlight posts at a few sites which deserve more traffic than they get.
The first is a cheat: Norm Pattis is not a new blogger, nor has his traffic always been smaller than ours. He founded once wrote for the excellent Crime and Federalism site, but left it in the capable hands of its founder Mike, and since has blogged or not blogged at a number of smaller, personal sites. We recently found Pattis, lying in the metaphorical gutter that is a blogspot blog, and have added him to our rolls. Pattis is as good as ever, and I'd like to highlight his recent thoughts on the problems with BIGLAW, a pyramid scheme which in some ways suffers as many structural problems as the investment banks and other megarich clients on which it preys.
We found South Bend Seven through our friends Brian Dunbar and TJIC. Like this site, SB7 is all over the place, writing about whatever may be of interest rather than on a narrow theme. A recent post reminded me of my love for the BBC show Hustle, a sort of modern adaptation of David Maurer's The Big Con. Like the book, the early years of this show are a minor classic.
The Driveby, who recently joined our blogroll, is a curmudgeon. We like curmudgeons, in our own surly way. We particularly like curmudgeons who are as appalled as we are by the transformation of a man who seems to be, at best, a politician with decent instincts, into an icon, a fetish, and a Home Shopping Network commemorative plate marathon rolled into one.
If the defining characteristic of libertarianism today is that every libertarian has a blog, Rolling Doughnut, who joins our blogroll today, is a great libertarian, because the blog is of higher than average quality. Our friend Kip Esquire considers Rolling Doughnut to be one of the most underread blogs, and we agree. And we'd like to point to a recent post detailing the slander campaign against the Bush administration's outgoing director of AIDS relief, a man who oversaw one of the few bright points in a galaxy of western neglect toward Africa.
Finally, we posted earlier about the League of Ordinary Gentlemen, a new group blog with which we're taken. The League is already on our left sidebar, but we would be remiss in failing to highlight E. D. Kain's new entry on the madness of Richard Dawkins.
Today is truly a meaningless holiday, as evidenced by the fact that I finished this post from work. Nonetheless, if you have a blog, celebrate with us. Link, and link generously.