Portentous Signs

Yang, Odell and Kostner Articles

If these April signs convey a warning that worse is yet to come, consider maybe buckling your seat belt for an inauspicious summer.

First, the [accidental] burning of the cathedral of Notre Dame on Good Monday did not just turn hundreds or so years of history into charred ash. But more worryingly does it foreshadow a discouraging time ahead, not only for France but also for the whole of Europe?

To see the Cathedral of Notre Dame as the very center of Paris; the hope and solace, together with symbolism about the origins of this great French nation: Empirical in influence, and of Europe as a whole. Aside from being the church that crowned Henry VI as King of France in 1431, it had become the mecca for the faithful - at the heart of France, and in so in many ways, the very center of Europe.

Small wonder last week we had the French [newly] billionaire class engaging in unseemly ‘one up Manship’ while attempting to outdo each other in donations for its restoration. Given the Yellow Vest movement and the associated resentments; a more dumb, vulgar response is hard to imagine. This Oligarch ostentation [tax deductible we are informed] was both as disgraceful as it was disgusting in its hurried presentation and unfortunately alluded to Marie Antoinette in ‘Let them eat Cake.’

But then again; in this century maybe we can now look forward to the Gucci Chapel of Rest, or perhaps the LVMH Crypt; nothing now seems sacred from a cynical marketing moment.

As much as we hate to politicize the immolation of one of the very hallmarks of French life – this event throws an inauspicious omen over the future of Europe. That church, ND, symbolizes everything that is Catholic of France, and this is in contrast to what is now a modernist, federalist and globalist France with Macron as its titular figurehead.

Could the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral signal the demise of Old France and signify the advent of a new one? It could be interesting how this will unravel in any future election.

Then on Easter Sunday, we were greeted by a slew of bombings across Sri Lanka that targeted churches and hotels - with a death toll now climbing to above 300 [some news outfits declare a lower figure close to 240]. Sri Lankan authorities are quick to point to suicide bombers, Islamists and other terrorist groups as responsible for the attack. This again revives the centuries-old friction between Christianity and Islam in Asia, just as the world is still grieving over the New Zealand Mosque attack that had a white man butchering Muslims at their place of worship. What an irony that we had an Easter that is supposed to celebrate the Risen Christ, but instead was greeted with 300 or more so dead.

Then a few days after Sri Lanka, we had small ‘swarms’ of earthquakes across the Asia Pacific region – from the Philippines, Indonesia to Malaysia. What is nature saying again this time? As we run for our lives, most of those who forgot prayed to the Almighty for refuge and safety. Was this a reminder to go back to our faith? Would God allow the burning of his churches as the faithful do not attend service anyway? Are these ominous signs ahead?

There is an ancient old beautiful Chinese belief called “The Mandate of Heaven” or Tian Ming which is a political and religious doctrine used to justify the rule of the King or Emperor of China. If one’s rule is plagued with manmade catastrophes and natural disasters – it means Heaven does not approve of that rule and is bound to punish everyone by not allowing fortuitous events to strike. Only when we correct this ourselves by placing the correct leaders and removing the bad ones from office - will Heaven reward the land with good harvests and opportunities.

What are these signs saying to us now?

Europe remains a worry, but elsewhere, and particularly the US, markets seemed unperturbed as most indices touched or breached record highs since Easter, compounded by better than expected economic statistics on Friday. The word on the Street remains, BUY BUY BUY.