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I made the first cut on the best lunchtime photos of the past year, then Marian made the final cut. In no particular order, here they are:

Dancer at Los Angeles Arboretum

December 9, 2018 — LA County Arboretum, Arcadia, California

Irish Coast at Whitestrand, County Kerry

September 26, 2017 — Whitestrand, County Kerry, Ireland

Ahwiyah Point at Yosemite National Park

February 14, 2018 — Ahwiyah Point, Yosemite National Park

Merced River, Long Exposure

February 14, 2018 — Yosemite National Park, California

Dandelion

January 13, 2018 — UC Irvine, California

Griffith Observatory at Moonrise

June 28, 2018 — Los Angeles, California

Hummingbird in Flight

March 9, 2018 — Irvine, California

Surfers at Huntington Beach

December 18, 2018 — Huntington Beach, California

Irrigation Canal, Shippee California

June 15, 2018 — Shippee, California

Moon and Venus at Sunset

July 15, 2018 — Irvine, California

Scarlet Ibis at the Prospect Park Zoo

September 14, 2018 — Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn

Windmill on Highway 41

February 16, 2018 — Madera County, California

Star Trails

December 30, 2018 — Lake Henshaw, California

Half Dome and Merced River

February 13, 2018 — Yosemite National Park, California

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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