Three planets were visible last night (New Years eve 2008) just at sunset, after the sun went down but before the stars came out. Venus was visible all night long and was super-duper bright, and I assume anyone who was out last night saw Venus just below the moon.
But Mercury and Jupiter were skulking around out there too, but were only visible around 5:30pm central time, to the southwest of Venus just above the horizon.
Now granted, the linear alignment may not have an R^2 of 1, but its pretty darn close. Its got at least a 0.985 if I've ever seen it.
I went inside worried that the end of all things had come, but then was relieved to see that Dick Clark was still alive and hosting his New Years Eve special, so things must be fine. This is just a general omen of otherworldly dread, not necessarily an immediate portend to unprecedented disaster.
I look forward to greeting the Great Old Ones when they arise from their subterranean crypts due to this celestial alignment. Wait, maybe they already have...