Upon reading about the death of Netscape, I headed for, to see what the effect would be for Mozilla (the open-source browser developed parallel to Netscape, and the default browser on my Windows computer). I was relieved to discover that non-profit foundation had been established to support Mozilla’s continuing development.

I hadn’t been by the site for a while, so a pleasant surprise was the discovery of Mozilla Firebird, a trimmed-down, faster version of Mozilla. I have been running a similar program on inverse, so I was immediately interested. I’ve been test-driving Firebird this afternoon, and it’s a bit faster than galeon most of the time. I’ll probably make it my default browser on both of my computers. To get one of my favorite galeon features – that is, opening new tabs in place of new windows by default – I had to download the tabbrowser extensions. Now it does just about everything I want. Give it a try.

Tabbed browsing is just what I’ll need to navigate the nine page process that is now required to e-mail the President. This ordeal includes indicating whether you are expressing support or disagreement with Bush’s policies; I would not recommend checking off the latter if your wife is an undercover CIA agent.

Now that I’m on the subject of politics, today’s must-read article is from the Washington Monthly, on the antagonism between the GOP and scientists. I think there’s a bigger anti-empirical problem in the current government – whether the evidence is from a scientific agency or an intelligence service, it is rejected if it doesn’t conform to the administration’s preconceived notions of how the world works. As one blogger (I think it was Alterman, but I’m not sure) said recently – when reality meets ideology in the Bush administration, reality had better get the hell out of the way.

I keep asking myself, what was the real reason for the war on Iraq? It wasn’t weapons of mass destruction, because there weren’t any (and Bush knew this). It wasn’t ties to Al Qaeda, because there weren’t any (and Bush knew this). It wasn’t bringing democracy, or even stability, to Iraq – the country is now in chaos, there is no motion towards a democratic government, and yet Bush has already declared “Mission Accomplished”. It wasn’t liberating the Iraqi people from the atrocities of Saddam’s regime – if our foreign policy were motivated by humanitarianism, we’d also be in the Congo, Zimbabwe, North Korea. What about the accusations of the anti-war crowd? If the purpose was imperial expansion, one would expect enough troops to keep order. If the purpose was revenge for the attempted assassination of George H. W. Bush, one would expect a more vigorous attempt to catch Saddam himself. And then there’s the one I thought was too simplistic, that couldn’t possibly explain such a rush to war. It couldn’t be all about the oil, could it?

You may recall Judicial Watch, the organization that hounded the Clinton Administration endlessly with FOIA requests and lawsuits to uncover real and imagined instances of corruption. Well, my Irresponsibilitarian brother may be heartened to learn that their efforts are not entirely partisan. In fact, since the White House changed hands this group has continued their push for transparency, and in particular has filed requests for documents pertaining to Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force. By court order these documents, from March 2001, were handed over recently. You’ll never guess what they found.