Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Wisdom of Vilna

Throughout history, various political powers held sway in what is now Lithuania. Depending upon the ruling powers, and/or the language, the city that is now (and has long been) the administrative capital of the territory has been known variously as Wilno, Vilna, Wilna, Vilnya, and, officially today, Vilnius.

For many centuries prior to World War II, Vilna had a significant Jewish population, and was renown as a center of Jewish culture and learning. The Nazi ravages of World War II, of course, decimated Vilna's Jewish population.

Perhaps the most famous Jewish resident of Vilna was Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman Kramer, known as the Vilna Gaon, or Genius of Vilna. The Vilna Gaon had memorized the Torah and numerous other books, religious and secular. He was quite erudite in mathematics and astronomy.

Describing someone as "not the Vilna Gaon," usually means that they are intellectually challenged.

Like any other city, modern day Vilnius has its traffic enforcement issues. But Mayor Arturas Zuokas has come up with a unique approach to resolving the problem of cars parking illegally and blocking the thoroughfares of the city.

This video is obviously scripted and staged, and obviously had a higher than normal production budget for video clips of its length.

Nobody is claiming that Mayor Zuokas is the Vilna Gaon, but there is something to be said for his new and novel solution to illegal parking. Perhaps some American mayors and police chiefs might find some inspiration!

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