At the B&B I stayed at on Tuesday night, the owner told me to be sure I kept a lookout for wild yellow and orange azalea. Ordinary garden azalea, she assured me, was mostly pinkish and white, so the orange variety was an unusual sight and it had just started to bloom.

Now, I wouldn’t know an azalea if I ran over one. I only hear about them once a year, when CBS sportscasters inform me in hushed tones that Augusta National is truly a special place in April when the azaleas and the dogwood are blooming.

Whatever. Around here it’s all over the place. And as I was hiking down the trail to the Cascades, a National Park Service sign told me that I was standing right beside a flame azalea bush. So naturally I took a picture.

May 8, 2019 — Cascades Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

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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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