Imre Nagy was a Hungarian leader, but he was hanged in Budapest on 16 June 1958 on the orders of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, as “a lesson to all other leaders in socialist countries.“ Nagy had not always been afoul of the Soviet government.  At birth a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Nagy was wounded …

  • June 16, 2021
  • Comments Off on A Lesson to All Other Leaders in Socialist Countries

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Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the President, the First Vice-President shall assume that office for the remainder of the term and shall appoint another to serve as First Vice-President for the remainder of the term. — Section 83, Subsection 4 of the Malawi Constitution When President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika …

  • April 12, 2021
  • Culture
  • Comments Off on The Will to Shatter the Glass Ceiling

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The letters began flying furiously back and forth on 27 March 1948. Instead of seeking a friendly agreement with the Soviet Government on the question of military advisors, the Yugoslav military leaders began to abuse the Soviet military advisors and discredit the Soviet Army. It was clear the situation was bound to create an atmosphere …

  • March 26, 2021
  • Comments Off on The Words and the Man

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Miroslav Krleža was a communist who had been kicked out of the Communist Party.  He was a friend of Tito who had not fought as a Partizan during World War II. He signed the Declaration on the Name and Status of the Croatian Literary Language, but in the 1930s convinced many southern slavic youth of …

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On 22 March 1992, the first democratically elected leader of Albania since 1924 came into power.   Sali Berisha, head of the Democratic Party of Albania, came to the helm of a nation struggling with the transition between communism and capitalism, between isolation and openness.   But Albania’s journey toward democracy wasn’t as easy as …

  • March 22, 2021
  • History
  • Comments Off on From Isolation to Open

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The best way to explain a thing tends to be the simplest – and the rise of memes have presented history with an unprecedented opportunity to get to the “truthiness” of historical situations.   Thus we can explain the four hundred+ year rivalry between Austria and Russia in the Balkans this way: Of course, the …

  • March 8, 2021
  • Comments Off on The Non-Balkan Nations Who Wanted the Balkans

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The crises in the Balkans jumped one to the next as the 1800s turned into the 1900s.  Royal assassinations turned into paradigm shifts, causing strikes against the status quo.   No longer wanting to be a dependent satellite of Austria-Hungary, Serbia turned toward Russia and began attempting to diversify their economics.  Sensing the threat to …

  • March 5, 2021
  • Comments Off on The Crisis Before the War

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The Pig War was not actually a war, and the weapons that started it were purchased, not shot.   Nevertheless, when the Austro-Hungarians decided to teach Serbia a lesson, it was triggered by Serbia’s decision to purchase weapons from outside the Habsburg sphere of influence.  The weapons were French, not coincidentally a treaty-partner to the …

  • March 3, 2021
  • Comments Off on The Weapons That Started the Pig War

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When Serbia, which had long been considered a satellite of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, began attempting to branch out their economic and trade relationships, Austria-Hungary reacted decisively in an attempt to quell any thoughts of an independent Slavic Balkans. The result, on 1 March 1906, was the Pig War of 1906-1908.  The Pig War was not …

  • March 1, 2021
  • Comments Off on Not Quite a War Over Pigs

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The richest man in the world, of all time, came from Africa.  Many people know the story of Mansa Musa, the rule of the Empire of Mali, who spent so much gold during his journey to Hajj that the price of gold was devalued for several years after he went home.   Lesser known is …

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