I am certain we are all aware of the unsettled conditions in our country today. A short time with the radio, TV or media will certify that.

So where are we heading? Some time ago, I received an interesting article and have seen it several times since in various sources. With election time coming up shortly, you might want to give it some thought.

I am not any authority, but I present it to you for your consideration. The article has been titled with "How Long Do We Have" or something similar depending upon where you read it. Here it is.

"About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier. 'A democracy is always temporary in nature, it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

* From bondage to spiritual faith.

* From spiritual faith to great courage.

* From courage to liberty.

* From liberty to abundance.

* From abundance to complacency.

* From complacency to apathy.

* From apathy to dependence.

* From dependence back to bondage."

So, where do you think we are? Do you think you agree or disagree with the above?

About two weeks ago, I saw a lady on TV who is now in her 80s telling of her experiences. She was born in Poland, and when Hitler took over Poland, she found herself under the German government. She was 12 years old at that time and remembered well her experiences, as follows.

The first thing Hitler's government did was to issue to all families a radio. The next step was to nationalize the radio stations with the condition that only the German radio was to be heard. The third step was the nationalizing of the banks.

The fourth step nationalized the auto industry. The fifth step nationalized the education system, providing all of the learning materials, which were the only ones to be used. The sixth step nationalized the health system, a step which saw the deaths of many people.

Those whom the government did not feel were valuable to the society were simply disposed of. The government also turned to the churches to spread the government's information.

We live in a wonderful country. Liberty is one of our prized possessions. James Kennedy, a man who had five degrees, said recently, "Until the time the colonists signed the Declaration of Independence, no civilization in history had known liberty."

He also quoted Karl Marx, who was asked what communism was really about and replied simply, "to dethrone God and to destroy capitalism."

I in no way am trying to influence your vote. There are many important things happening in our country, which each of us need to consider before voting. I do, however, encourage you to vote your mind Nov. 2.

Perhaps, with all the seriousness of the world, we should have a couple of things to laugh about. So here goes:

The teacher says, "Maria, go to the map and find North America." Maria says, "Here it is." Teacher: "That's correct. Now, class, who discovered America?" The class responds, "Maria did."

Teacher: "Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?" Donald: "H I J K L M N 0." Teacher: "What are you talking about? " Donald; "Yesterday you said it's H to 0"

Teacher: "Glenn, how do you spell crocodile?" Glenn: "K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L." Teacher: "No, that's wrong." Glenn: "Well, maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it,"

Teacher; "Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have 10 years ago." Winnie; "Me."

Teacher: "Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?" Harold: "A teacher."

Arris Johnson, Hays, is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.