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This young man is surveying the vastness of the Pacific Ocean and pondering the meaning of humankind’s existence in the face of such overwhelming power. Is it evidence of God’s infinite presence, as the theologians tell us? Or merely the chance confluence of heavy elements created in the fiery furnace of distant supernovae and then agglomerated under the force of gravity, as the physicists tell us? Will we ever know? Can we know? Will the theologians and the physicists ever get their shit together?

Actually, our young hero was waiting for the waves to roll in, and then running gleefully away just before the water could touch his toes. It was pretty cute. But really, who knows what was going through his mind while he waited?

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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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