Well, the truth is you really can’t learn anything for free. It’s going to take time and work to learn anything, so if your time and work are worth anything at all, it’s going to cost you!

But you don’t have to spend any money to joint altARP and our members will freely share what they know with you.

The Internet is a marvelous way to tap into almost limitless information, unfortunately some of it is of dubious veracity. There is really nothing new about fake history and fake news. It has been going on as long as people have known how to tell lies. Kings told their scribes to embellish their histories. Subsequent kings erased the old history and replaced it with a new version.

In 1870, Betsy Ross’s grandson, William J. Canby, claimed that his grandmother designed the first U.S. flag. He may have believed it to be true because his Aunt Clarissa told him the story 13 years earlier, 20 years after Betsy died. Now historians cast substantial doubt on the story but for several hundred years elementary school students have had to learn about Betsy Ross.

Did Patrick Henry really say, “Give me liberty or give me death?”  It’s all over the Internet so it must be true.

But Patrick Henry, in spite of being recognized in his own time as a great orator, left very little in writing and certainly not the text of of his widely acclaimed speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia on March 23, 1775.  The version of the speech that we now have appears to have been written entirely by William Wirt in 1817, forty-two years after Henry’s unrecorded speech.

With so much doubtful information floating around, how can you know that the time and effort you invest in learning is worth the effort?  Your objective in learning new stuff, and in validating things you already know, is to be able to pass what you have learned on to your children, grandchildren, friends, and acquaintances with the objective of promoting their and your own well-being.


We mention the above inconsequential bits of accepted truth about Betsy Ross and Patrick Henry simply to point out that a lot of things we have believed to be true are fabrications.  Life is too short to test every hypothesis, every assertion.  At some point we have to simply trust sources of information even if we subsequently discover that they too occasionally make mistakes. Enduring trust comes when these sources acknowledge and correct their mistakes.

Scientists and scholars publish their work, which is eventually reviewed by their peers and the general public. Does this mean that peer reviewed journals are always true?  Actually, a very high percentage of peer reviewed studies are wrong.  When subsequent research demonstrates that a prior study was wrong, the body of knowledge is incrementally increased.


As time goes by, histories, political theories, science, and beliefs are subject to critical examination and a consensus can be reached about the reliability of the information.  Short term data and ideas embroiled in political debate should be viewed with skepticism.

The Constitution of the United States is an idea worthy of respect and preservation but it does not require a religious devotion as infallible scripture. It is obvious that the Constitution by itself does not prevent the insidious atrophy of Federalism. Another failure of the Constitution is preventing creeping socialism. By itself, as during the War between the States, the Constitution is only as strong as the people who sustain it. Relying on our elected representatives is not enough. Some of them are incredibly stupid. A few are idealistic. All but a rare few are worried about the next election and keeping their seats. They must be held accountable.

All sources of information should also be viewed with skepticism until they are shown to be reliable. A reliable source of information about the foundations of the Republic is a FREE on-line course offered by Hillsdale College.

Why does Hillsdale offer the course for free (at no monetary cost)?

Here are three important reasons from their web site:

  • It is concerning that most Americans complete their education with little to no knowledge of America’s foundational principles.
  • Every American must understand the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence—these set forth America’s founding principles.
  • By educating millions of Americans on our founding principles of liberty, America can begin to turn around and restore lost liberty.

Click HERE to get the free course.