Saturday, March 4, 2023

D.L. Gardner: Freedom is Worth Whatever It Takes

Learning about others may be one of the best ways to learn about ourselves. In her book “In Order to Live,” Yeonmi Park chronicled her escape from North Korea with her family to China and then to South Korea. As defectors from the hermit kingdom, Park and her family faced increasingly dangerous obstacles to reach freedom all along the way.

Park wrote, “In North Korea, it’s not enough for the government to control where you go, what you learn, where you work, and what you say. They need to control you through your emotions, making you a slave to the state by destroying your individuality, and your ability to react to situations based on your own experience of the world.”

What a hostile and dark place North Korea is especially in small towns where Park grew up. Food shortages and intermittent electricity were norms and many people were driven to smuggle cigarettes and other contraband to provide the barest essentials for their families and neighbors. 

Each of us has expectations based on experiences as well as promises. As a child Park grew up hoping for one good meal each day. She and her sister would dream about how much bread each could eat if given the chance. 

Few if any Americans can identify with defectors like Park and her family who sacrificed so many things for years to escape institutional slavery. America and other free nations are not concerned about citizens fleeing freedom. On the other hand, millions of illegal immigrants have crossed our borders the past two years from more than 140 nations. Millions of got-aways are hiding heaven knows where for whatever purposes.

After Park and her mother finally arrived in South Korea, they were ushered into programs to help them learn about living in the free world. Park particularly enjoyed educational opportunities and proved to be a very fast learner. She wrote, “I crammed twelve years of education into the next eighteen months of my life.” She continued, “I vowed to myself to read one hundred books a year, and I did. I read to fill my mind and to block out the bad memories. But I found that as I read more, my thoughts were getting deeper, my vision wider, and my emotions less shallow. The vocabulary in South Korea was so much richer than the one I had known, and when you have more words to describe the world, you increase your ability to think complex thoughts.”

In contrast Park wrote, “In North Korea, the regime doesn’t want you to think, and they hate subtlety. Everything is either black or white, with no shades of gray.”

Today Park holds dual citizenship with South Korea and America, and has earned a BA at Columbia University. Americans, particularly those in high school and college could learn a lot about freedom and slavery from Park. 

For nearly 250 years American patriots have declared our independence, fought for our individual God-given rights, and died so that future generations could enjoy freedoms from government tyranny. 

Our enemies have been working a plan to destroy America from the inside out. There is no other nation on earth to run to for freedom. If we don’t fight to keep our rights, we will collapse into a wad of tyranny and become a footnote in history. Freedom is worth whatever it takes.

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at


Anonymous said...

It's a riveting book. I highly recommend it. Jackson is N. Korea light.

Anonymous said...

North Korea is actually a great place to live if you are a well connected party loyalist.
“Freedom” and “democracy” are overrated concepts. The City of Jackson is a democracy. And the boomer concept of “freedom” is based on consumption fueled by credit cards and Hollywood propaganda. Also, stealing from their children and grandchildren’s future earnings via inflation to pay for their excesses, and then calling them ungrateful and lazy when they point out the fact they have been robbed of a future!

Anonymous said...

North Korea has ONE leader who has family members and those personally loyal to him and him alone in positions of authority.
No deviation from or criticism of his decisions , utterances or positions is tolerated.
Only one source of "news"/information is to be believed.
Education must adhere to and reinforce the Leader's views.
Those who criticize or object are "enemies" to be dealt with violently but physically and verbally. Those attacks are seen as "just" and excusable
Seems like the Trump and his cult worshippers to me.
Blind conformity and obedience isn't just blind. It
s a recipe for diaster.
Wake up...not as in "woke" but as in not walking in lockstep.
Be your own man or woman.... that's what INDEPENDENCE IS!
DL is still totally illogical.

Anonymous said...

Living on worms, grass and small fees for busting one's neighbor for listening to Western music is harsh, but not for American communist democrats who consider themselves elites, above the starving peasant slave status they wish on others.

Anonymous said...

7:58 AM,
Trump and his followers never used the FBI and other government agencies to harass, intimidate, raid, arrest, and search their opponents. Being anti-Trump never got anyone searched or ruined by the media or any agencies. Saying Trump and his fans are somehow authoritarian like the current administration is not tru and never has been.
And I still don't understand the hate for DL Gardner, it seems like there is some reflexive need to curse him when he seems correct on everything I have read.

Anonymous said...

@3:58 - yes he did. Andre McCabe and James Comey were “randomly” selected to have the most intense irs audits. 5,000 out of 153 million Americans are selected for these. He also made it a campaign point to arrest Hillary, I’m not sure if he ever said why, just to lock her up. All the Trump fans went wild when he would lead the “Lock her up” chant. It was all rather pathetic.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS