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The neighborhood I live in is called Woodbridge, so naturally there has to be a wooden bridge that spans our little artificial lake. It’s a fine looking bridge during the day, but I’ve never taken a picture of it at night—until now. This shot makes it look a lot more ominous than it really is, but it’s what the camera captured. I didn’t do any color fiddling in Photoshop. I took this photo about an hour after sunset, and to the naked carbon-based eye, there was only the slightest tinge of orange in a dark sky. But with a 4-second exposure, the silicon eye makes it look like Costa Mesa was going up in flames a few miles away. No worries, though: Costa Mesa was fine.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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