Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Journal Eight- Jack Constantino

Journal Eight
Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee
          2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, social worker and women's rights advocate. Leymah is best known for leading a nonviolent movement that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia's devastating, fourteen-year civil war in 2003.
            One of the things I found most important as I researched Leymah was that she showed that women can be more powerful than men. She describes officers trying to arrest her and she simply threatens to disrobe which can cause a curse on men and her threat worked simply showing that she can have power over men in the little things they do. That is also showing that words actions speak louder than words can be turned around to say words speak louder than actions. She simply used nonviolent tactics to lean the situation her way. Another thing that I found important was that she used her nonviolent tactics to join women of Christian and Muslim faith to together put an end to the long civil war in Liberia. Another effect of the ending of the war was a win for the female gender as Africa's first female head of state was elected. She can be known as the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. This also marked a new wave of women emerging worldwide as essential and uniquely effective participants in brokering lasting peace.
"Leadership is standing with your people. People say you have to live to fight another day, but sometimes you have to show you are a true leader." - Leymah Gbowee

            I chose to use the web link below because I believe it is the most creditable source because it come directly for the website that is ran by the Nobel Peace prize organization.

"Young Guns" Response Exercise from Mike

Post your active reading response to the "Young Guns" handout essay here, and use the Comments feature below to post your response, so we can see all the responses here on this one post.

See handout for the prompt and questions to consider.

All best,


"Young Guns"

The Teen Killers of the Drug War

Child soldiers in foreign conflicts are treated as victims. What about the adolescents on the U.S.-Mexico border?

Journal 8 Max Balderson

     In 1989, a rebel group known as the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, led by Charles Taylor, began the First Liberian Civil War. Charles then assumed power, using threats of resuming war, and became the president of Liberia in 1997. During his term, Charles Taylor was accused of committing war crimes. When Charles Taylor's rebel group rose to power,  used multiple highly illegal war tactics in order to gain control of Liberia. Charles was accused 11 different crimes. These crimes include: rape, murder, enslavement, pillaging, acts of terrorism, and other inhumane acts.
Charles Taylor facing trial
     Taylor denied all of theses crimes at his trial. He even made some surprising comparisons trying to clear his name. He explained that his tortures and crimes against humanity were very similar to the acts of president George W. Bush, and in an interview, when asked how he felt that many viewed him as a murderer more than a politician, he states, "Jesus Christ was accused of being a murderer in his time." Charles' defense in court was that he was a peace maker. He was only doing what was necessary to keep Liberia peaceful.
Charles in younger years, with rebel group
      Unfortunately for Taylor, this defense did not hold up in court. The judges found him guilty of every single crime. Taylor was given an 80 year jail sentence, which was later changed to a 50 year sentence. To this day, defense lawyers are trying to get Taylor's jail sentence appealed.
     I used https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/briefing-papers/trial-charles-taylor-special-court-sierra-leone-appeal-judgment and http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12392062 as my sources for this article.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Conference Times on Tuesday with Mike

10:30 Miranda
10:37 Regan
10:44 John
10:51 Max
10:58 Jack
11:05 Shaylee
11:12 Payden

11:30 Keirra
11:37 Emma
11:44 Jussett
11:51 Jordan
11:58 Evan

Common Weapons in Sierra Leone by Miranda

In the book A Long Way Gone, Beah writes about the war and the weapons that were used. He was pretty vague on what exactly the weapons were and what they looked like. There were several different types of weapons used, including guns. Two types of main guns used in the Sierra Leone Civil War, involving the G3, and the AK47. There was also RPG’s used, best known as Rocket-Propelled Grenades.
The G3 was created after World War II by the Germans. The G3 design was based closely on the AK47. While the AK47 itself was based on the StG44, the West Germans had no way to make more of that classic weapon.  This left them looking for a new main rifle in the 1950s. Named the G3 by the German military, the weapon was modular and the buttstock, forearm furniture, and trigger pack could all be removed and swapped out to change or upgrade the weapon in the field. The gun was cheap to make and did not require excessive machining. It proved accurate enough for use as a designated marksman’s rifle out to 800-meters, but still simple enough for a new soldier to be trained on in a short amount of time.
This is the G3 at the very basic model. 
The AK47 design work began in the last year of World War II (1945). In 1946, the AK-47 was presented for official military trials, and in 1948, it was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army. The AK47 was designed to be a simple and reliable semiautomatic rifle. Some versions of this rifle even included a bayonet that would extend out past the barrel. The most common magazine holds 30 rounds, but can hold, 10, 20, and even 75.  Unfortunately the AK-47 has a poor ergonomics and is badly balanced.  The AK-47 has made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the most widely spread weapon in the world, with 100 million Kalashnikov rifles currently in use. It is believed that AK47s have caused more deaths than artillery fire, airstrikes and rocket attacks combined. An estimated quarter of a million people are gunned down by bullets from Kalashnikovs every year.
This is an example of the AK47 with the bayonet at the end of the barrel. This particular one holds 30 rounds.
Rocket-Propelled Grenades, or RPG. The weapon was developed by the Russians. It was designed to be fired from a longer distance and be accurate. It is an explosive weapon that can be launched from a safe distance therefore allowing a successful ambush, without losing multiple lives from being close to the gunfire. The average length one of these can launch to is almost 1,000 feet. It weighs roughly 18 pounds, while most are single use there are some that are reusable, or refillable. The ones that can be reused can be fired on average four times per minute.
On the left end is the grenade. You sit the brown stock on your shoulder to support the heavy weapon. 

Although these are not all of the weapons that were used in the war of Sierra Leone, they are the most common. From German designs to the Soviet Union of Russia, most if not all of the weapons were imported into Sierra Leone. There was no manufacturer of such weapons that were close to this country of Africa.

This is the link that I found to be most useful. It is all about weapons used in the military, both old and new designs. It ranges from small guns, to even land systems. It has credibility because it is a military based site, with good facts and specifications.

By Shaylee: Geography, Physical Features And Climate of Sierra Leone

Geography, Physical Features And Climate of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa. Around Sierra Leone sits Guinea on the north, Liberia on the south east, and the Atlantic Ocean on the south west. Freetown is the capital of Sierra Leone, and also the largest city. Sierra Leone has a great geography, physical features, and climate.
There are many things that Sierra Leones Geography is made of. It is located on the west coast of Africa. It is between the seventh and 10th parallels of the north equator. The total area of Sierra Leone is seventy one thousand seven hundred and forty kilometers. Sierra Leone has four different geographical regions that include the coastal Guinean mangroves, the wooded country, the upland plateaus, and the eastern mountains. Sierra Leone is also half the size of Illinois.
Sierra Leone has many physical features. Mount Bintumani is the highest peak in Sierra Leone at one thousand nine hundred and forty five meters. Tingi Mountains became a forest reserve, a place where people cant hunt. It also has two hundred species of birds, and is home to western baboons and elephants. Futa Djallon Highlands are a series of stepped sandstone plateaus with many gorges. Little Scarcies River is in west Africa and flows into the Sierra Leone and empties in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Climate in Sierra Leone is a tropical climate. Sierra Leone has many savannahs and rainforests. It has warm temperatures and high precipitation. Sierra Leone has a rainy season from May to December, and a dry season from December to May. The average temperature is usually seventy eight point eight. The average rainfall is three thousand to five thousand millimeters per year. Sierra Leone has many plants, and shrubs including oil trees. Coffee and cotton are indigenous. Hazards in Sierra Leones climate is the dry sand Harmattan winds that blow from the Sahara, dust storms, and sandstorms. Problems with the environment include the rapid population growth, overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and civil war depleted resources.

This is a road in Sierra Leone. It shows how the rain forests take up so much of the area there. 

Journal 8 Emma

Food Culture in Sierra Leone

            The majority of Sierra Leoneans snack on fruits, seafood, and cassava daily. The Main staple is rice. They consider a real meal rice with sauce and a source of protein such as peanuts, cassava, fish, beef, or chicken. The most common dish is ground nut stew, which is stew made from peanuts, meat, tomatoes, and onions. At ceremonies they eat huge portions of rice until they can no longer eat anymore. On some occasions Sierra Leoneans eat the bones of chicken, fish, and beef because of the sweet marrow on the inside once they get past the brittle outer layer. Along the streets there are mangos, oranges, pineapples, and papayas. Many visitors that have a meal in Sierra Leone have positive feedback and recommend to eat there but beware of the risk of stomach problems from poor hygiene practices. Most meals and snacks are spicy and healthy, keeping the civilians in good shape when food is available.
            There is a small scale market and trade in Sierra Leone. They farm cash crops including coffee, cocoa, peanuts, and tobacco. They trade with China, South Africa, UK, US, and India but the civil war has negatively impacted the economy and they are still recovering from it.
            More than a fifth of the Sierra Leone population is undernourished. 43 percent of the population was food insecure in 2015. This down fall was caused by the civil war destroying land and infrastructure. Another factor is the Ebola outbreaks. They are beginning to build up the economy and agriculture.

Girl in Sierra Leone eating ground nut soup over rice. The most commonly eaten dish.

Journal 8 By Jussett

Jussett Flores
English 1109 10:30a.m.
Journal #8

Journal #8
Sierra Leone has about 16 ethnic groups, each with their own language, also it dates back to 1462. The largest in number is the Temne in the North. The second of these is the Mende, which is found in the Southern and Eastern Provinces. The third largest group is the Limba. The other ethnic groups are Fula, Mandingo, Kono, Krio, Kuranko, Loko, Susu and Yalunka, Kissi, Vai, Kru, Sherbro, Lebaneses Merchants.
Temne which is one of the largest ethnic groups in Sierra Leone has about 35% of Sierra Leone population. I find it interesting that the vast majority of Temne are 85% Muslims with a small minority of 14% Christians. The Temne are rice farmers, fishermen, and traders. The Temne support APC which is All People's Congress which is a political party in Sierra Leone.

Mende is the second largest ethnic group with a 31% of Sierra Leone population. The Mende are mostly farmers and hunters. The Mende support the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). Regional warfare throughout the 19th century led to the capture and sale of many Mende-speakers into slavery. Most notable were those found aboard the Amistad in 1839. They eventually won their freedom and were repatriated.

The Limba people are a major ethnic group in the Sierra Leone. They form the third largest ethnic group in the country, about 8.5% of Sierra Leone's total population (about 566,529 members). During Sierra Leone's colonial era thousands of Limbas migrated to the capital city of Freetown and its Western Area. Members of the Limba tribe believe that they have always lived in Sierra Leone in the Wara Wara mountains and were probably the first rulers of the country. It is believed by some historians that the Limba have already been living in sierra leone when colony take place.

This shows us the percentages of each ethnic group in Sierra Leone.