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The Politics of Dictators' Facial Hair

Bashar Assad, Robert Mugabe, Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan all have distinctive mustaches; a pastor in Florida gets arrested for trying to burn 3,000 Qurans; meanwhile, blind Iowans have been purchasing guns. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Worldwide Mustache Expert Weighs in on Assad’s Upper Lip
Bashar al Assad shares something in common with Genghis Khan, Vlad the Impaler, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco, Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein, and Robert Mugabe.

Florida Pastor Terry Jones Arrested Before He Could Burn Thousands of Qurans
Pastor Terry Jones was arrested in Florida on Wednesday as he drove to a park to light some 3,000 Qurans on fire in protest of the 9/11 attacks.

11 Questions to See If Libertarians are Hypocrites
Libertarians have a problem.

The Koch Brothers’ Secret Bank
An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide.

The Science of Snobbery: How We’re Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better
Several months ago, this author sat at a classical music concert, trying to convince himself that wine is not bullshit.

Stop Blaming Colonial Borders for the Middle East’s Problems
Plenty of other countries have “artificially drawn” borders and aren’t fighting. Here’s the real reason the region is so tumultuous.

Iowa Debates Issuing Gun Permits To The Blind
In January, Stevie Wonder considered buying a gun to illustrate the inanity of America’s gun reform debate.

Why Urban States Need Their Rural Counties
The idea of secession is an old one – obviously, in America, one that goes all the way back to the country’s founding.

Health Law’s Ailments Can Be Cured By Single-Payer System
All the shortcomings of the healthcare restructuring result from the decision to leave it in the hands of private insurers.

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