HuffPost Article: Join the Insurgency Against the Jobs Crisis

Jeremy Heimans and I have just published a piece in the Huffington Post called “Join the Insurgency Against the Jobs Crisis.”

Back on Track or a New Path?

The latest cover of Harvard Magazine has a black and white photograph of an assembly line for 1959 Ford automobiles and the headline, “The American Economy: Can it get back on track?.” While the article inside provides some very useful analysis of our current economic predicament, we couldn’t help but feel that the cover was asking the wrong question.

Solving our economic woes and jobs crisis requires us to first ask the right questions. The question of how to get Americans working again is critical as unemployment takes its toll on families and communities, but this crisis has also opened up an important choice about the future of work in America. We can make jobs for jobs’ sake, or we can rebuild our economy with good jobs that reflect our values.

Jobs with Purpose

We need to redefine what “good jobs” mean and then create them. We need to look at the margins and start from the bottom up. This requires a shift in our attitudes and policies in support of the economic insurgents, agile, disruptive start-up enterprises, instead of continuing to prop up the same incumbent institutions of subsidized big businesses and crony capitalists.

Read more on the Huffington Post>>

Se Ja Meh: New Korean Restaurant in Lower Manhattan

Tonight for dinner, I went to try out the newly-opened Se Ja Meh (meaning 3 sisters in Korean, and alternately spelled “Seh Ja Meh” and “Se Ja Meh” in their site and menu – oops, oh well whatever!).  It’s located at 114 Greenwich St, just up the street from my apartment building.  Now that I no longer work by Koreatown, I have started to really miss my 3-4 day-a-week Korean food lunches.  Se Ja Meh definitely compares in price and quality to my Koreatown fav, Seoul Garden. Now that I have a Korean place on the block, I can probably spare myself the trip up to K-Town.

I ordered the yellow tail scallion roll (above) for a starter.  Ok, sushi is not Korean, but I wanted to check it out anyway.  The sushi was decent; fresh fish and slighty too mushy rice – a problem all too common at sushi places in New York, so I’m not going to be too much of a sushi snob and pick on them for this point.  If I have another sushi craving, I’ll just stick to my usual local fav, Takahachi Tribeca.

And here’s the panchan (side dishes) below that typically come included with your meal at Korean restaurants.  Everything is on par in the panchan department.

For my main, I ordered the kimchi soondooboo (kimchi tofu stew).  The stew was rich with plenty of soft creamy tofu.  The kimchi and chili infused broth was flavorful without being too salty and in the right proportion to the tofu and other ingredients, in other words, not too much broth, two problems that plague lesser Korean establishments.  WaWa Canteen, I’m talking to you!

The place is clean, tastefully minimalist in decor and the service super nice, so I’ll definitely be back.  Plus, the location can’t get more convenient.

Burma Disaster Relief

From Avaaz.org:

In the wake of a massive cyclone, at least 22,000 Burmese are dead. More than 40,000 are missing. A million are homeless.

But what’s happening in Burma is not just a natural disaster–it’s also a catastrophe of bad leadership.

Burma’s brutal and corrupt military junta failed to warn the people, failed to evacuate any areas, and suppressed freedom of communication so that Burmese people didn’t know the storm was coming when the rest of the world did. Now the government is failing to respond to the disaster and obstructing international aid organizations.

Humanitarian relief is urgently needed, but Burma’s government could easily delay, divert or misuse any aid. Today the International Burmese Monks Organization, including many leaders of the democracy protests last fall, launched a new effort to provide relief through Burma’s powerful grass roots network of monasteries–the most trusted institutions in the country and currently the only source of housing and support in many devastated communities. Click below to help the Burmese people with a donation and see a video appeal to Avaaz from a leader of the monks:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/burma_cyclone/5.php?cl=86184609

Giving to the monks is a smart, fast way to get aid directly to Burma’s people. Governments and international aid organizations are important, but face cahllenges–they may not be allowed into Burma, or they may be forced to provide aid according to the junta’s rules. And most will have to spend large amounts of money just setting up operations in the country. The monks are already on the front lines of the aid effort–housing, feeding, and supporting the victims of the cyclone since the day it struck. The International Burmese Monks Organization will send money directly to each monastery through their own networks, bypassing regime controls.

Last year, more than 800,000 of us around the world stood with the Burmese people as they rose up against the military dictatorship. The government lost no time then in dispatching its armies to ruthlessly crush the nonviolent democracy movement–but now, as tens of thousands die, the junta’s response is slow and threatens to divert precious aid into the corrupt regime’s pockets.

The monks are unlikely to receive aid from governments or large humanitarian organizations, but they have a stronger presence and trust among the Burmese people than both. If we all chip in a little bit, we can help them to make a big difference.

Click here to donate:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/burma_cyclone/5.php?cl=86184609

With hope,

Ricken, Ben, Graziela, Paul, Iain, Veronique, Pascal, Galit and the whole Avaaz team

PS: Here are some links to more information:

For more information about Avaaz’s work to support the Burmese people, click here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/burma_report_back/

For more information about the cyclone, the humanitarian crisis, and the political dimension, see these articles:

New York Times: “A Challenge Getting Relief to Myanmar’s Remote Areas.” 7 May 2008.

BBC: “Will Burma’s leaders let aid in?” 6 May 2008.

India’s Economic Times: Indian meteorological department advised junta 48 hours in advance, 6 May 2008.

BBC: “Disaster tests Burma’s junta.” 5 May 2008

Times Online: “Aid workers fear Burma cyclone deaths will top 50,000.” 6 May 2008.