Gutenberg is coming. Get prepared now.

The new Gutenberg editor will be the default in the coming WordPress 5.0. However, a plugin will allow users to use the classic editor, if they want.

I’ve been using the Gutenberg editor and a Gutenberg-compatible theme on this blog for a few weeks now. Yes, things are different and there is a bit of a learning curve. It’s worth it. The Gutenberg editor is hugely better and way more powerful. Everything is drag and drop. Things that were hard to do in Classic editor are now easy.

Gutenberg-compatible themes do everything in Customizer. There are not as many options for tweaking a theme as there were in, say, Canvas. This will be missed. However the themes do have an area for custom css.

WordPress is working hard to make the transition easy. However, change is coming. Plan and get ready for it now.

WordPress 5.0 is likely to land in the coming months. This has people wondering how best to prepare, and we certainly understand why. You can rest easy knowing these options and features are available:

Firstly, your existing pages and posts will be converted to Gutenberg using the “Classic” block. This allows them to exist and display just as they do today without any manual intervention.

Second, if you edit an existing page or post and anything unexpected happens, you can easily restore using a plugin.

Third, if you simply prefer the legacy editing experience, you can download the Classic Editor plugin to revert back to the editor you want.”

Dollar stores target the permanent underclass

Stores like Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar are expanding rapidly because the permanent underclass is growing and few can escape it. That means they can’t trade-up to better stores and must do most their shopping at dollar stores.

This can be problematic because when dollar stores open a branch in a low income, usually rural area, they can put local grocery stores out of business. They generally have fewer employees than a local grocery. Selection is much less too. They usually don’t have meat or fresh fruit and vegetables, so people tend to stock up on grains, bread, snacks, which aren’t particularly healthy.

However, in stark capitalist terms, dollar stores fill a need. People wouldn’t shop at them if they weren’t broke. Prices are low, so they do save money. Macro economic forces that create the underclass are not the fault of dollar stores. They just exploit them, which is what capitalism is about.

Parowan UT is about 3,500 people. It has had a sole locally-owned grocery store for years. A Dollar General opened a couple of years ago. It is busy, and open later than the local store, plus it is open on Sundays. The nearest big stores are in Cedar City 18 miles away. 

Cedar City has a Walmart. Yes, I know many love to hate Walmart however, without it, shopping would be much harder in Cedar and in surrounding areas. People drive from miles away to shop there. It employs probably hundreds. Prices, of course, are low. Cedar also has two chain grocery stores which are thriving.

So, a Dollar General or Walmart can indeed be bad news for local businesses, but aren’t always. They do serve a need.

The real question to ask is, why is the permanent underclass growing and what can we do to help them?

“Essentially what the dollar stores are betting on in a large way is that we are going to have a permanent underclass in America,” Garrick Brown, director for retail research at the commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, told Bloomberg in 2017. Executives realize that their business depends on customers essentially falling short of the American middle class. “The economy is continuing to create more of our core customer,” Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos told The Wall Street Journal.

Experimenting with new themes

WordPress will be rolling out Gutenberg soon. It’s a new way of doing things that will be simultaneously easier to use and more powerful. It will also break some old WordPress plugins and themes. So, this blog is moving to Gutenberg-compatible themes and plugins now, well in advance of the event. The previous theme here, Canvas, is officially not compatible. Canvas developers have told people to find new themes and it is not possible to make it compatible. 

I’ll be adding a header image to this theme soon. Wanted to get it active first so I could look at it and experiment with it before adding a header.

So, expect this blog to be changing look-and-feel on an ongoing basis for a while!

Woo hoo, if you can fog a mirror, you can get a mortgage again!

Nothing could possible go wrong with giving mortgages to higk-risk people with bad credit who are already already in debt up to their eyeballs. The allowable Debt To Income ratio used to be 25-30% but happily we shall have no more of that old school, boring, prudent borrowing rubbish. Fannie Mae just raised the DTI limit to 50%! That means 50% of borrower pre-tax income can now go to servicing debt.

Now I hate to be Mr Grumpy here, but if you’re a millennial already choking on student loan debt and you get a high interest mortgage and half your income is going towards debt, then an unexpected dead car, medical expense, or job loss could quite rapidly lead to serious financial problems.

And please. Do not call these subprime loans. They are officially nonprime loans. I’m so glad they cleared that up for us. But then, a pig by any other name is still a pig.

Carrington will manually underwrite each loan, assessing the individual risks. But it will allow its borrowers to have FICO credit scores as low as 500. The current average for agency-backed mortgages is in the mid-700s. Borrowers can take out loans of up to $1.5 million on single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums. They can also do cash-out refinances, where borrowers tap extra equity in their homes, up to $500,000. Recent credit events, like a foreclosure, bankruptcy or a history of late payments are acceptable.

Fannie Mae raised its debt-to-income (DTI) limit from 45 percent to 50 percent. DTI is the amount of total debt a borrower can have compared to his or her income. As a result, demand from buyers with higher debt exceeded all expectations. The share of high DTI loans jumped from 6 percent in January 2017 to nearly 20 percent by the end of February 2018

The Doddering Dotard says maybe I won’t bomb Syria

So, various factions on the left are even more at war with each other than usual, this time over Syria. Is Assad a monstrous butcher or a fearless fighter against Islamist thugs? Are rebel freedom fighters actually fighting for freedom, and if so, just precisely what kind of freedom is it? Might be the freedom to oppress women and torture dissents.

It might well be there are no good guys in this mess. All of this is made worse by the US changing allies there they way most of us change socks, i.e. daily. Constantly. Worse, no little thought seems to go into what we do there. What is the endgame? What result do we want? Do we think our constant interfering is making anything better for anyone there?

Into this quagmire strides the Doddering Dotard, who first says by golly, we’re going to bomb Assad, which of course gives Assad’s forces plentiful time to prepare and hide. Then a couple of days later Dotard says, only kidding maybe we won’t bomb at all.

Some try to divine some deep hidden plan from into Trump’s bizarre ramblings, like he’s somehow playing n-dimensional chess in hyperspace. Nope, he’s not. He’s an increasingly senile old man who knows that law enforcement has closed in on him and that family, friends, close associates may lose everything and go to prison. He may too.