I want to live here, but everything is "contact us for a price".
"If you have to ask, you can't afford it" is just a euphemism for "we're targetting really stupid people with a lot of money". See, there are three types of rich people:
1) the ones who are rich, know it, and make sound decisions in order to remain rich.
2) the ones who are rich, know it, and flaunt it because they're brainless idiots trying to become poor through bad decision-making
3) the ones who are so offensively rich that it doesn't matter which path they take, nothing short of the collapse of society is going to change their wealth status.
There aren't many of any of these three, but #3 is by far the least common of the lot. I'm none of these three, so I will forgo this particular set of apartments - regardless of whether I can afford them or not - in favor of something a little more frugal.
Over the last five years, I've regularly gone to a little pizza parlor around the corner for lunch. I can't afford it so much anymore now that I've become part of the disappearing middle class, but when I did go regularly I took joy in evaluating the people around me.
A number of folks who came in over the years were all quite obviously "leaders" of one caliber or another at their place of business. It has confounded me, however, to note the common qualities in many of these leaders over the years:
+ They tend to be less intelligent in some respects than you might expect. I regularly see prim and proper business people confounded by the simplest of technology, unable to make a decision between pushing a big red NO button and a big green YES button on a pinpad.
+ They have a tendency to be less suggestive/coercive than they are just plain bossy. Don't get me wrong, this usually works, but I'm always somewhat taken aback by their demanding nature and, even more so, by other people's willingness to jump when they demand it.
+ They are bad drivers. Many times it's not the frazzled mom with six kids in the car that blows the stop sign while she's westling with them. It's the suited silk-tie-wearing businessman who's just plain not paying attention or just apparently doesn't care.
I have no idea if this extends to other quarters such as the military or government, or if it even extends beyond my geographic boundaries, but it's interesting none-the-less.
Nobody who ever had to make something from nothing says you can make something from nothing, but a lot of people who had something to start with and just don't recognize it do.
The only difference between lying and making a mistake due to willful ignorance is that it makes it easier for your friends to make excuses for you after the fact if you do the latter.
The people who are most willing to disrespect other people's beliefs are the ones who complain the most that other people disrespect their's.
I think Wal-Mart is a perfect example of how easy it is to manipulate the gullible American public into doing things that are bad for it.
Everytime you buy something at Wal-Mart, odds are pretty good you're sending money to two places:
1) Wal-Mart management
The biggest price cuts for Wal-Mart don't come from innovative supply chains, they come from strong-arming suppliers so that demand is cut and churning out high volumes of low quality, low price product to compete. That means that every purchase at Wal-Mart either serves to solidify the damaged supply chain process (thus permanently undercutting the profits of American companies) or pump money away from America into the Chinese economy.
Since the U.S. is already desperately short on cash and stretching its credit with the world painfully thin - credit that is currently being used to support crucial government expenditures like the war in Iraq - the only thing you're doing by buying at Wal-Mart is bringing the looming credit crunch ever closer and making it that much more severe in the process.
I think the media is at least partly to blame for the problems we have today with kids, but I also think that it's the parent's fault the media had that much power over their children in the first place.
I think holocaust deniers have the same basic defect as anti-evolutionists, the holocaust deniers just apply their defect in a more socially destructive way.
I think that the metric system is superior.
There's a certain sick irony in venerating yourself as a democratic republic while you mock the will of the majority of the world.