"•Death rates declined for heart disease (down 3.7%), cancer (1.1%), chronic lower respiratory diseases (4.1%), stroke (4.2%), accidents (4.1%), Alzheimer's disease (4.1%), diabetes (4.1%), influenza and pneumonia (4.7%), septicemia (1.8%) and homicide (6.8%)."
With all the terrible news from Japan, the upheavals in the Middle East, our own internal polarization and melodrama, it is easy to read sweeping bad news and "signs" into it (and of course blame somebody we don't like if at all possible).
Some things are worse, some are better, all change. For Christians, a good time for sober attention to our Lord's straightforward counsel:
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains...“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." Matthew 24:3-8, 36