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Where to begin? Percussionists first. On National Postal Worker Day, a round of recognition for all the mail carriers who deliver our birthday wishes to Ndugu Chancler, Sameer Gupta, and Rashied Ali. Chancler’s energizing fireworks and climactic beats lit up Yoshi’s in Oakland, in 2002, in a historic rebirth of Miles Davis’ On the Corner, with four other Miles veterans. Chancler was also Michael Jackson’s drummer on “Billie Jean”—and played his final drums in 2018, after battling prostate cancer. Happy birthday, and rest in rhythm and power, to Chancler.

Fellow birthday-haver Gupta is a tabla legend who co-founded Brooklyn Raga Massive and supercharges the Supplicants and VidyA, saxophonist Prasant Radhakrishnan’s project. Every band Gupta joins is stronger and steadier for it, with a syncopating pulse that grounds the music. Happy 44th. And happy 87th to Rashied Ali, who gave John Coltrane’s final years their signature sound, thanks to Ali’s kinetic, expressive style, famously on their Interstellar Space duet.

You may also know July 1 as the day ice-vending machines were introduced in Los Angeles, and as Canada Day, but most importantly, it marks the greatest of them all: The happiest birthday in human history to the singularly creative, infinitely inspiring, always-celebrated Rita King, this Recharge writer’s mom and muse.

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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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