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Scary Times

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
I can't help but ask myself these days, "Is the end really near?" What with tsunamis, hurricanes, massive earthquakes — all of biblical proportions — and tens of thousands of lives lost. Now comes the prospect that an epidemic of avian flu could kill millions in this country alone, possibly bringing civil strife and martial law in the streets.

Just the other day, a friend told me after he was suddenly scared awake by an apocalyptic nightmare. He went to an outdoor outfitter, spent almost $1,000 on freeze dried and canned food, took $10,000 cash out of his checking account, and, for the first time in his life, bought a handgun. He's not alone. These are scary times.

I spoke with Jerry Falwell today and he said nothing happens without God's knowledge. Bill Nye, the science guy, said the earth is heating up. He wouldn't proscribe blame one way or the other. And we consulted humorist Andy Borrowitz, who said it's all the fault of Paris Hilton.

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