Jews’ view of the pot initiative? Mixed

Marijuana is everywhere. Smokers come from every walk of life — from the college student to the cancer patient, from the wealthy older couple to the heroin addict who started out just smoking weed.

Jews care about this issue because Jews, like every other group, can be found among those who use, who dispense, who grow, and also those who disdain this all-pervasive drug. In fact, the halachah of pot is not entirely clear.

The Talmud states that the law of the land is the law. But when it comes to pot, what does that mean? State and federal rules on marijuana are rapidly changing. California has legalized medical use and decriminalized recreational possession of small amounts, but many smokers still rely on the black market. And marijuana remains completely illegal under federal law, although enforcement is inconsistent.  Now, Californians face Proposition 19 on the Nov. 2 ballot, a measure that would allow possession, purchase and taxation of marijuana for adult recreational use.

The Jewish perspective on pot is ambivalent, and observant Jews could plausibly take either side of Proposition 19, according to Rabbi Elliot Dorff, a professor of ethics and Jewish law and rector at the American Jewish University. On one hand, Judaism “is very insistent on responsibility for our actions,” Dorff said, meaning that becoming extremely intoxicated on any substance is forbidden. Any drug that harms the body is also forbidden because “in the Jewish tradition, God owns our bodies, and we have a fiduciary relationship to take care of [ourselves],” Dorff said.

On the other hand, marijuana may be more akin to alcohol — a drug that observant Jews may take in moderation — rather than tobacco, which the Jewish tradition frowns upon as dangerous and highly addictive, Dorff said. Where marijuana falls on that sliding scale is an “empirical question,” he added, and the answer may affect how Jews vote on Proposition 19. Schools, synagogues, drug control experts and law enforcement all have a role to play in providing that answer and determining the boundary between the law and making a responsible individual choice.

Cities Rule

The most distinguishing feature of Proposition 19 is how much authority it delegates to cities. Possession of up to 1 ounce would be legal statewide, but California already has made possession of that amount an infraction on par with a speeding ticket. The real meat of Proposition 19 is that cities would become free to make their own rules on regulating and taxing the commercial sale of marijuana to adults over the age of 21. 

“I think they’re trying to make sure cities can opt out, like with liquor stores [or] medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Kyle Kazan, a former Torrance police officer and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), which supports the measure. “You can zone it away.”

Story continues after the jump.

Opponents, however, see the delegation of authority to cities as a “legal nightmare,” which has become one of the catch phrases of the No on 19 campaign.  “You’re going to have 550 different versions of this law, city by city,” said Rodney Jones, chief of the Fontana Police Department and a Proposition 19 opponent. County sheriffs will have a particular problem, Jones said, because they cross city lines and will be responsible for enforcing small differences in rules on marijuana.

But Kazan said police already handle similar complexity in enforcing various city ordinances on the sale of liquor.  And if the initiative had set a single rule for marijuana sales statewide, supporters worry that “the other side would say, ‘How dare they have a one-size-fits-all solution?’ ” said Hanna Liebman Dershowitz, an attorney and member of the legal committee of Yes on 19.

The Case for Talking to Kids

Even if only a few cities authorize sales, both sides agree that Proposition 19 almost certainly would increase overall use of marijuana in California.  It would be more widely available in stores than it is on the black market now, and it would not be stigmatized as illegal. And unless governments levy huge taxes, it would also likely be much cheaper. The real debate is whether the inevitable increase in use will be more harmful than the status quo.

Drug war veterans have long argued that marijuana physically damages the brain and other organs, but the data on that are inconclusive. “ ‘Reefer Madness’ isn’t true,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama. “The [idea that] everyone who picks up a joint has their life ruined is absurd,” he said. 

But that doesn’t mean marijuana is harmless, Humphreys said. “I don’t deny that some people use marijuana and they’re fine, but if a million people pick up regular marijuana use, probably at least 10 to 20 percent will have significantly adverse experiences in life, maybe do badly in school, maybe get in a car accident.” Legal marijuana would be particularly harmful to high school students who are already on the verge of flunking out, he said.

Nobody knows exactly how much usage will increase, but Humphreys predicts the state could add anywhere from 1 million to 3 million new smokers. Vulnerable groups, such as teens and the poor, are particularly likely to smoke more, he said, because they have less disposable income and will be more attracted by the lower price.

Jason Ablin, head of school at Milken Community High School, has worked with high-school students for 20 years, but he’s not convinced that the status quo of criminalization is an effective deterrent, either.

“I think if kids are going to use drugs and alcohol, they’re going to find ways to acquire them — they do it with alcohol already,” Ablin said. “We have a lot of double standards with marijuana use. The association with marijuana is counter-culture, so that becomes a lot more damning than, say, alcohol,” he said.

For Dershowitz, that association is patently unfair. “As we look inward [following] Yom Kippur and the New Year, we also need to look outward to reflect on our actions as a society,” she said. Dershowitz is particularly troubled by the social and legal stigmas that follow a young person who is busted by law enforcement for marijuana, even now that the penalties have been reduced. “We should abhor a system that erases other people’s chances to turn toward the good simply because they’ve chosen an action that we singled out for disdain.”

Instead of focusing on heavy-handed scare tactics and criminalization, Ablin prefers to engage kids in a broader public policy discussion about the way society treats drugs in general. “Because I work in schools, I have a lot more confidence in kids to critically think through problems,” Ablin said. “You’re not getting anywhere with kids by talking at them. [You’ll do] much better work by listening to them.”

Israel eyes regional peace push, prepares for U.S. talks with Iran

With the governments in Washington and Jerusalem set to change, Israeli leaders are reassessing policy in two key areas: Middle East peacemaking and Iran.

On peacemaking, both President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are coming out strongly in favor of a new regional approach and Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni is listening.

On Iran, the Foreign Ministry — the government department Livni heads — is preparing for the possibility of U.S. dialogue with Tehran, especially if Barack Obama becomes president. If that is the turn U.S. policy takes, Israel will try to convince the new U.S. president to insist on one condition: That Iran suspend uranium enrichment before talks begin.

For some time now, Peres has been arguing that it was a mistake for Israel to conduct separate negotiations for separate deals with the Syrians and the Palestinians. Instead, he says, Israel should be negotiating with all the Arab states and the Arab League for a comprehensive regional peace.

In separate negotiations, Israel often makes major concessions in return for relatively little, Peres says. For example, Israel’s opening of peace talks with Syria already has resulted in the rehabilitation of the Syrian regime in the international arena, but Israel has received nothing in return.

But a regional approach could enable greater flexibility in solving problems and deliver a real end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Peres says.

Behind the scenes, in meetings with Arab and Western leaders, Peres quietly has been promoting the regional approach. Peres went public with this strategy only in his mid-September address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, when he appealed directly to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by declaring that Israel was ready to discuss the 2002 Arab plan for regional peace.

In a meeting this week with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheik, Peres is expected to outline his ideas in more detail.

Although Peres serves in a ceremonial position — Israel’s presidency comes with virtually no executive powers — the Israeli president’s actions carry weight. This is partly because of Peres’ reputation and experience but more because his moves on the regional front have been coordinated closely with Livni.

Barak also has picked up this approach. He says Israel needs to come up with a regional peace initiative of its own and present it to the Arab world. The Arab and Israeli initiatives together then could create a basis for a serious regional peace dialogue.

He points out that Israeli and Arab moderates share concerns about containing Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. And he agrees with Peres on the need for a more comprehensive regional approach, particularly since the separate talks with Syria and the Palestinians have made little headway.

The advantages of the regional approach are manifold: Israel could make trade-offs on and between key issues. It could bring countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan into a solution of the Palestinian refugee issue. Israel would have the added assurance of knowing that any agreement would be underpinned by the entire Arab world. In addition, the Jewish state could negotiate a credible end to the Arab-Israeli conflict precisely because the entire Arab world would be signed on to it.

But how would regional peacemaking actually work? Would the framework be too large and cumbersome? Would the more radical voices on the Arab side set the tone?

On the face of it, it would seem more logical for regional peace to follow agreements with Syria and the Palestinians, not produce them. The way Israeli officials see it, regional talks could be held in parallel with negotiations with Syria and the Palestinians, not instead of them.

Whether or not the regional effort leaves the ground, the Foreign Ministry is considering other bilateral peace initiatives, including a long-term nonbelligerency pact with Lebanon.

The aim would be to demarcate the Israel-Lebanon border, solve the dispute over the Shebaa Farms area, set in motion a mechanism for military coordination and restrict Hezbollah weaponry and deployment. Fruitful parallel talks with Syria could make something along these lines feasible.

In addition, Israeli strategists assume that whoever wins the U.S. election in November will seek to talk to Tehran, though Obama might do so without preconditions.

For months, the Foreign Ministry, Mossad, the National Security Council and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission have been discussing a range of possible Israeli responses.

The emergent consensus is that Israel will press the next U.S. president not to engage in open talks with Tehran until Iran suspends its uranium enrichment program. This is in line with a current proposal by the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France and China, all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and Germany that Iran stops the enriching process, receives a package of incentives for doing so and only then may talks start.

In any event, Livni seems quite willing to give dialogue a chance, as long as it is not used by the Iranians as a smoke screen to push ahead with their nuclear program.

Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, probably the Knesset member closest to Livni, said bluntly that if the world does not prevent Iran from going nuclear, Israel will have no choice but to take military action.

But, he said, Israel would much prefer Iran be stopped by peaceful means, and he believes there is still time. By his count, Iran is about three years away from producing a nuclear weapon — two years from fully mastering its uranium enrichment technology and then another year from producing enough fissionable material to manufacture a bomb.

This seems to contradict a late September report to the Cabinet by Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of research in military intelligence, that said that Iran was mastering enrichment technology, already had produced one-third of the fissionable material needed for a bomb and that the Western world was blind to the urgency of the situation.

Despite Baidatz’s alarm bells, Livni now seems ready to give fresh, focused diplomacy a chance. Talking to Iran while it continues to enrich uranium would, in her view, be a disaster. But getting Iran to suspend enrichment activities while talks are carried out could be the best way forward.

Bill Cracks Down on Killers of Americans

A Jewish community initiative to bring to justice those who kill Americans overseas has become law.

Provisions of a bill spearheaded by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), dubbed the Koby Mandell Act, were incorporated into the omnibus spending bill President Bush signed last week.

The provisions would create an Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism within the Justice Department. Justice and State Department officials would form a task force when terrorists kill an American citizen overseas.

Named after a 13-year-old Israeli American boy who was killed by a Palestinian mob in the West Bank in 2001, the bill has been a ZOA priority. It originally was designed to place pressure on the U.S. government to find Palestinians who had killed Americans in terrorist attacks against Israel.

But the initiative was not prominent on the lobbying agendas of many other Jewish groups, who complained that the legislation was too narrow and was designed primarily to chastise the State Department for not doing more against Palestinian terrorists, not as an effective counterterrorism measure.

The version of the bill that passed Congress last month did not include many of the findings included in the ZOA version introduced in 2003. That version said “the United States government has not devoted adequate efforts or resources to the apprehension of terrorists who have harmed American citizens overseas, particularly in cases involving terrorists operating from areas administered by the Palestinian Authority.”

ZOA’s version also would have put the new office in charge of the Rewards for Justice program, which advertises rewards in foreign countries for the capture of terrorists who attack Americans.

The ZOA’s president, Morton Klein, has long accused the program, which currently is controlled by the State Department, of ignoring Palestinians who kill Americans.

The omnibus language does say the office should be created “as recommended by the Koby Mandell Act of 2003,” suggesting the ZOA language should be considered. It’s unclear whether the Rewards for Justice program will be moved to the Justice Department.

But Klein said he’s happy with the current legislation, and that his organization had looked at every possible avenue to get the provisions through Congress.

“Our vision is very clear,” Klein said. “We are looking forward to this office taking as the central focus of its existence the prosecution of Palestinian Arabs who killed Americans.”

Other Jewish leaders said the legislation could have been passed earlier if it had been directed more broadly. Some U.S. Jewish lobbyists who spoke on condition of anonymity said Klein resisted efforts to broaden the legislation and wanted the office to focus solely on victims of Palestinian violence, as opposed to all Americans killed overseas.

The Jewish leaders said they wanted the office to be included as part of legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, but met resistance. They noted that under Klein’s view of the office, it would not have jurisdiction in the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, a Jew who was killed by terrorists in Pakistan.

Klein said he would have been open to the possibility of placing the office within the Homeland Security department, but wanted it to alleviate the disparity of Palestinians not being sought for the killing of Americans.

“If the federal government was searching to find and prosecute Palestinian Arabs with the same commitment as they do most other foreign nationals, this legislation would not be needed,” he said.

Klein said he is working to ensure that the office, which currently has no appropriation, will be funded. He said he is encouraged that the process will be overseen by the next likely chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who backed the Koby Mandell Act.

Other Jewish leaders hope the office will serve as an advocate for the families of victims of terrorism, and will coordinate law enforcement initiatives in the United States and other countries.


Geneva Initiative Is Merely a Dream

The Geneva initiative is a dream. It’s unrealistic; it’s hoopla. I suppose people need diversions in their lives.

That it was a private Israeli citizen and members of the opposition party who drafted the initiative is fine in my book. That’s not a crime in Israel. There is no Logan Act forbidding ex-officio personalities from engaging in foreign negotiations. Israel actually has a history of similar actions.

The plan lays out borders that nearly approximate a return of Israel to pre-1967 borders. But it was the prerogative of those who composed the plan to put in it whatever they saw fit. So that, too, is OK with me.

What bothers me is that those who drafted the initiative and those who applaud the initiative don’t realize that it is only a dream. They think of it as a reality.

What bothers me is that they think that because they’ve put pen to paper, it will be possible for miracles to happen, for Israelis to live in peace and harmony with the Palestinians. That history has taught them nothing.

What bothers me is not what’s in the Geneva initiative, but what’s missing. That it never deals with the reality of "what happens when …?"

In international negotiations, when a country, like a person, is fooled once, we can chalk it up to naiveté. But when the citizens of that country commit the same exact mistake again, that’s sloppy thinking, it’s myopic vision, it’s irresponsible, it’s wishful thinking bordering on the delusional.

The first time, we can reason that the public may have been so consumed by the frenzy generated by an idea so powerful that it literally overwhelmed them, silencing all alternative voices in the public debate. Second time around, it frightens me and sets off warning bells. And that’s what I see happening now.

Geneva is the second time Israelis are making a colossal mistake in reasoning and calculations. The first was the Oslo accord.

The Oslo mistake was understandable — then and even now — in retrospect. Given the stresses involved in daily living in Israel at the time, the feelings of despair, the effort of absorbing suicide bombing attack after attack in major cities, it’s only reasonable that Israelis would embrace Yasser Arafat and his promise of peace.

The public, like Israel’s leaders at the time, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, ran headlong into the arms of their longtime enemy, dizzy with the prospect of a true peace. After all, everyone reasoned, things can never get any worse; now we’re going to make it all better.

Well, they were wrong, and history proved it.

And yet despite that history, there is very serious excitement in many corridors of power around the world. The Geneva initiative is being considered by serious personalities as a viable plan capable of advancing a just peace.

Has nobody read the document? No doubt, reality and politics are blurred here. Presidents and prime ministers, past and present, have sent letters of support for this initiative. Former President Jimmy Carter is a featured supporter of the program.

More telling, Richard Dreyfuss, a fine actor but nevertheless an actor, was the master of ceremonies at the official Geneva accord ceremony. Master of ceremonies? For a peace initiative?

The Israeli mastermind and senior representative is Yossi Beilin. He was one of the architects of the failed Oslo accord. Geneva is his second Oslo.

This time he thinks he can get it right. And he hopes that it will catapult him right back into the center of Israeli politics, a position from which he was rather unceremoniously removed for being even too far left for left-thinking Israelis.

Now he and his colleagues are out to magically resolve one of Israel’s great unsolvables. They think that it can be done with no consideration of failure or of potential unfulfillment of the agreement. The document contains not one clause dealing with what happens when.

What happens when the Palestinian side does not live up to its end of the agreement?

What happens when illegal weapons are not collected in the newly demilitarized Palestinian state?

What happens when new weapons are smuggled into or manufactured by the Palestinians and used to shoot at Israel?

What happens then?

Because the Geneva accord clearly states that Israel may not even enter Palestinian air space in order to pursue terrorists.

Because the plan explicitly describes how international forces will protect the Palestinians from Israeli incursions.

Because the plan states that the role of those forces is to supervise, in order to make certain that Palestinians are not hurt by Israelis.

What happens when the Palestinians break their promises?

What happens then?

What happens to Israelis?

That’s when their dream turns into a nightmare.

Micah D. Halpern is the founding director of the Jerusalem Center for European Study.

Community Briefs

Banks Waive Fees on ReparationPayments

Holocaust survivors in California will no longer have to pay up to 12 percent of their reparation payments in wire transfer fees charged by five banks.

At a news conference Oct. 8, Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) announced that after approximately eight months of negotiations, the banks agreed to waive the fee for transferring monthly payments from Germany and other European countries to individual survivors.

Payments to approximately 20,000 survivors in California average $350 a month, although some receive only $250 per month. The transfer fees ranged from $10 to $30 per payment.

“For many survivors, waiver of the fees makes the difference between living at a subsistence level, or below it,” said David Lash, executive director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services. Lash, together with Holocaust services advocate Michael Freeman, worked closely with Pavley on the project.

Banks participating in the voluntary fee waiver are City National Bank, First Federal Bank of California, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo and World Savings.

Jan Lynn Owen, Washington Mutual western regional manager of government relations, said the fee waiver will apply to her bank’s branches in all 50 states. Darrell R. Brown, Wells Fargo senior vice president, said its branches in 23 Western states will adopt the new policy. Both officials said the fee waiver represents an unprecedented initiative for their banks.

Lash praised the banks as “good corporate citizens, who, especially in this day and age, should be exalted and serve as examples to other banks.”

Pavley said negotiations are continuing with Bank of America and several other banks to adopt the fee waiver policy.

John Gordon, Los Angeles vice president of Child Survivors of the Holocaust, expressed his group’s appreciation to Pavley, Bet Tzedek and the banks.

Similar policies have already been implemented by more than 30 financial institutions in New York, Illinois and Europe. British banks have gone a step further, repaying fees charged over the last 50 years.

Pavley’s 41st Assembly District includes parts of West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. — Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor

Tribute to Rabbi Philip Schroit

Nearly 500 people paid tribute to the memory of Rabbi Philip Schroit at a Congregation B’nai David-Judea service on Oct. 6. Schroit, who was the founding rabbi of B’nai David-Judea and a past president of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, died on Aug. 12 at the age of 79. He was buried in Israel. Past and present synagogue leaders were joined by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Rabbi Reuven Hutler, Cantor Leopold Szneer and Schroit’s son, Dr. Alan Schroit, in remembering the rabbi as a friend, leader and one dedicated to Jewish education.

During the 1950s, Schroit worked to establish kosher catering at Los Angeles hotels, and was an early supporter of the new State of Israel. He became a leader in Israel Bond appeals and in sending donations from his congregation. Working with other Orthodox and non-Orthodox rabbis, he helped build the infrastructure necessary to establish Los Angeles as a thriving Jewish community in the post-WWII era.

“He built the foundation upon which all of us stand,” said Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, the current B’nai David-Judea rabbi.

Recognizing Schroit’s commitment to educating Jewish children, B’nai David announced renovation plans to develop the Rabbi Philip Schroit Youth Education Center. The center will expand the Shabbat morning program for children, and accommodate growing programs for pre-bar and bat mitzvah children and teenagers.

Donations in Schroit’s memory can be sent to: The Rabbi Philip Schroit Youth Education Center, 8906 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035. For more information call (310) 276-9269. — Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Religion Editor

Guns and Butterfat

Here’s an idea for a potentially disastrous event: invite young Industry hotshots to your home on one of the coldest nights of the year to discuss the federal budget.

But Dan and Jenna Adler did exactly that last week. And partly because the Adlers are well-connected and well-regarded Creative Artists Agency agents, and because one co-host was high-profile columnist Arianna Huffington, and because the main guest speaker was Ben Cohen — co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream — the event was astonishingly successful: packed, intense, full of buzz.

Cohen left the world of premium pints last year after selling his semieponymous company to Unilever. He is now promoting a different product, something he calls a "Contract With The Planet."

The contract aims to make America a more globally responsible citizen. It wants to do all sorts of good things –improve education, feed the hungry, decrease our dependency on oil — with one great hook: it is, as they say, "budget neutral."

What Cohen wants us to do is urge our government to take 11.6 percent of the proposed 2002 defense budget — that’s $40 billion — to invest in things like Head Start, health care and energy self-sufficiency. He calls the strategy Move Our Money.

Cohen, the epitome of the entrepreneurial Baby Boomer, is doing what many children of the ’60s dreamed they would: make gazillions, then change the world. His campaign uses brilliant marketing to reach a younger generation (, funky traveling parades, cool T-shirts, etc.). But it also gathers the gravitas provided by support from current and former CEOs (from Goldman Sachs, Eastman Kodak and Visa, among others) and former military brass to lure in older generations.

Retired Adm. Jack Shanahan took the floor after Cohen ran off to dish his favorite brand of ice cream for the guests (even at 40 degrees outside, there was a line, because having Ben Cohen scoop your ice cream is like having Bill Gates reboot your hard drive). Shanahan and former CIA director Adm. Stansfield Turner are behind Cohen. Shanahan ran through the numbers: At $343 billion, the U.S. military budget request for 2002 is more than six times that of Russia, the second- largest spender. It is more than 23 times as large as the combined spending of the "Axis of Evil" (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) plus Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Syria. It is, Shanahan said, a budget that protects us against Cold War-era threats that no longer exist, while leaving us vulnerable to guys with box cutters.

Several days after Cohen and Shanahan spoke, President George W. Bush unveiled his $2.13 trillion budget proposal. It includes a proposed $48 billion increase in next year’s defense budget, a 12 percent real increase over this year, and a 14 percent increase above the Cold War annual average.

I didn’t come across a soul at the Cohen event who begrudged the Defense Department money for developing new weapons in the war on terror. "You know those missiles that pinpoint the terrorists’ caves and blow them out of the ground?" one dyed-in-the-organic-cotton liberal told me. "I want to buy more of those. Let’s make some that pinpoint their beds."

The budget debate, like many political debates in America, has jumped its old left-right track. You don’t have to be a Republican to want to give the Pentagon whatever it needs to ensure America’s security. The debate isn’t guns versus butter, but how to get the right guns and better butter. The Center for Defense Initiatives (, a think tank run by former military brass, lists 15 examples of Pentagon programs that could be ended or reshaped that would save a minimum of $147 billion over the next 10 years. That kind of change buys a lot of sky marshals.

Cohen had dropped by The Journal offices several months before Sept. 11 to talk about his "Contract With the Planet," and it was revealing to hear how his pitch had changed since. Like Bush, he now couched his presentation in terms of national security. Except for Cohen, security comes from, among other things, cutting our nuclear stockpile from 6,000 warheads to 1,000 (still enough to blow up the world several times over) and spending the money saved on education.

Raised in Long Island and bar mitzvahed there, Cohen describes himself as an unaffiliated Jew — "Jew-ish," he told me. But he pushes hard on the ethical and spiritual component of his campaign, and he’s attracted religious groups to the cause, forming "Religious Leaders for Sensible Priorities."

And, judging by the turnout at the Adlers, many young, Industry-esque Jews will be signing on to what Cohen calls "Entertainment Leaders for Sensible Priorities." The idea of targeting society’s cultural elite, its educated movers and shakers, and then having them set the agenda for the rest of the country might just work.

After all, that’s how Ben and Jerry’s became famous.