by Steve Kayser
If It Were You?
If you faced a critical moment in your life, a choice - that would forever define you - between doing right, wrong or nothing at all, what would you do? You hope you would do the right thing; you'd act. But what if you did and it blew up in your face?
What Would You Do?
If you thought you did the right thing, the absolute right thing, the only thing, could you handle being thrown in jail and face years in prison in a foreign country for it? Losing everything you had? And, to top it off, your own government abandoned you simply for trying to do right?
This is one such story. A journey. The late, great Joseph Campbell would call it a classic Hero's Journey. But he dealt in myths. Symbolic narratives. Mythology. This is real life.
It's a tale of two countries, a donkey and a dog.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."
- "A Tale of Two Cities" - Charles Dickens
No one writes like that anymore, do they? Old Charlie was a Dickens of a writer. Let's update it for today. For right now. For this story. Call it ...
... A Tale of Two Countries
These are our times. Right is wrong, wrong is right. Up is down, down is up. Fools wise, wisdom foolishness. Yappedy Yap News 24 x 7, Crappedy Crap Yap more than that. Worse ... bad guys are good, good guys are bad.
Stupid is still stupid. Dumb is still dumb.
That's what this "Tale of Two Countries" is about.
This is not a story about cowardly dog fighting. It's a true story about a Dog's fight for justice and freedom. Not any dog but "The Dog" - Duane Chapman AKA ... Dog the Bounty Hunter. "Dog" is the most famous bounty hunter in the world having helped capture 7,000 fugitives. He is also the star of A&E's most-watched show, "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and a number-one New York Times best-seller book, "You Can Run But You Can't Hide."
This is one Dog's story that illustrates the classic "Shoot the Donkey" principle.
The entire Seventh Army halts for this recalcitrant donkey.
General George Patton roars up, leaps out of his jeep, whips out his ivory-handled pistol, shoots the donkey, and immediately has it hurled off the bridge, removing the obstacle. That classic scene not only revealed Patton's character in a cinematic way, but also embodied the great success principle of personally taking decisive action to remove all obstacles to fulfill one's mission.
This event has often been cited as evidence of General Patton's brutal blood and guts mentality. He didn't see it that way.
- General Patton
Taking decisive action. Removing obstacles. Doing the right thing to fulfill a mission- to protect and help others. Doing right ... when it counts. Dog the Bounty Hunter did (and is doing) all of those things.
General Patton would be proud of the Dog.
- General George Patton Jr.
Dog has shot the Donkey. More than once. But some days you shoot the donkey ...
Were this story not true it could never be told as fiction. For ...
... Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn't.
- Mark Twain
But, this true story has to be told in context as in, what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if this Dog not been an American? And in that telling, there may be a bit of illustrative storytelling ... but just a donkey-tad.
A little bit of an anthropomorphic allegorical cartoon-lampooning narrative.
Burro el Cazador Criminal, AKA "Donkey the Criminal Hunter," was arrested four years ago in the United States after finding and detaining a predatory serial rapist, Andrewje Lusterlessista, millionaire heir of the Faux Mactor company cosmetics fortune. Burro el Cazador Criminal acted on a tip received about Lusterlessista's whereabouts in the U.S. He was accompanied by a local U.S. police officer and was in communication with Mexican officials about his search for Lusterlessista while in the U.S when he took Lusterlessista into custody.
Captured on TV
The capture of Andrewje Lusterlessista, was filmed by Retén de Fateline ABC&E TV una demostración despredadora serial sicopática peligrosa (ABC&E TV Fateline's "To Catch a Really Dangerous Psychotic Serial Predator on the Loose" show). Lusterlessista had been a fugitive from Mexican justice. He'd been sentenced, in abstentia (because he'd fled the country) to 124 years in prison after being convicted of 86 of 87 rape-related charges.
When captured, Lusterlessista had in his possession the date-rape drug "GBH" - the same drug he'd used in Mexico to nefariously poison and render unconscious multiple victims.
A Preying Predator
Andrewje Lusterlessista was actively on the hunt for more human prey. He was taken off the streets of America before he could do anyone any more harm by a fierce-looking, efficient bounty hunter.
Good guys win. Bad guy loses. Society wins. Set 'em up, knock a couple brews down. Right?
Cross-country bounty-hunting is illegal in Mexico, so technically Burro el Cazador Criminal – AKA "Donkey the Criminal Hunter" - had boo-booed a little. He and his crew were not authorized to track Lusterlessista and take him into custody in the U.S.
US authorities arrested him. Burro el Cazador Criminal, his son Lelando (who works with him), and another associate assisting in the capture were jailed. They posted bail and returned to Mexico. Now, the U.S. government wants him extradited back to the U.S. for trial on charges of illegal imprisonment. Burro el Cazador Criminal and his crew face four to five years in prison.
Burro el Cazador Criminal had removed from the U.S. streets:
- A dangerous sexual predator
- A serial rapist who drugged and poisoned unconscious women
- A person that Mexican and U.S. authorities could not find
- A person that had fled the jurisdiction of one country to hide and resume his evil predatory machinations in another
- A person who had a price on his head by the Mexican government
"The result justifies the deed."
- Ovid, Heorides (c. 10 BC)
Yes. Absolutely right. They would.
He'd probably (if he wasn't a symbolic cartoon metaphor ... so hold the PETA complaints) be hailed as a hero.
He'd might even become another media celebrity "ass" (from the Latin "asinus," for really cool donkey) in the biggest way with ...
General Patton wouldn't shoot this Donkey, he'd probably
But what if this really happened and the shoe was on the other foot? An American had captured and taken off the streets of Mexico a dangerous, convicted human predator, brought him back to the U.S. to face justice, and instead faced imprisonment himself? Surely the people and government would rise up to stop this injustice, to right this wrong.
Right. Wrong. Both unfortunately.
A Dog's Life
Well, this really happened. The American, Duane Chapman - AKA "Dog the Bounty Hunter" - faced extradition and years of possible imprisonment in a Mexican jail. Hop on this roller coaster of an evolving true story and what do you find?
- John Adams, Second U.S. President
In January 2003, Andrew Luster, a millionaire heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, fled from the U.S. to Mexico to avoid trial on a series of rape charges. He was accused then convicted in abstentia on 86 of 87 criminal charges ranging from poisoning and sexual battery to rape by the California Court system. Luster was declared a fugitive from justice and sentenced to 124 years in prison.
Dog, along with his son Leland Chapman and associate Tim Chapman (not related), after months of research, hard work and meetings with some of Luster's victims, dedicated themselves to capturing Luster. In June 2003, they received a tip and located Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Not a Dime
Almost everyone. People in both countries are safer. Mexico is rid of a dangerous predator. Luster is behind bars. The victims' families can feel some semblance of relief. Justice served.
Hardly any taxpayer monies were used.
But, in September of 2006, more than three years after the arrest of Luster, U.S. Marshals arrested the Dog for extradition back to Mexico. The Dog has already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and posted $300,000 dollars in a U.S. federal bond so he could stay freed pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings.
Of the People, by the People, for the People
In this circumstance, it would seem a government so formed to protect the sanctity of individual liberty, freedom and justice for all, would step up and protect its citizen. Would draw an impenetrable shield of guaranteed safety around its citizen. Would honor its founding principles.
But thankfully, a government of the people, by the people and for the people still has people ... not in the government.
What follows is a wonderful civics, business and life lesson. How the Dog and his family responded to the continuing Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads is a lesson in patience, perseverance and unrelenting action to remove all obstacles to achieve their goal - justice and liberty. Gradually their actions yielded results and now are close to achieving absolute victory - minus legal fees of course.
"I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one."
They took their story to the streets. The people. The media. And ... even government officials had to listen. Why? Because it's a story of good vs.evil. Right vs. wrong. A story of sordid truths. A story of woeful upside-down, inside-out in the belly-of-the-whale injustice.
Blended with Duane "The Dog" Chapman's real-life history of transformation and triumph - overcoming years of drug addiction, abuse, being a hardcore gang member and convicted felon - to a man genuinely driven to fight crime, and help the people he captures, the story resonated across the land.
People respond to truth. Authenticity. Specificity. Tales of triumph and transformation. Dog's story is Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" personified.
People responded to the Dog's story.
But the tale of two governments didn't.
In February 2007, a Mexican court denied a request to prevent extradition and ruled that the Dog and team would have to stand trial in Mexico.
"The great point is to bring them the real facts."
- Abraham Lincoln
They did not respond with mud-slinging or vitriol. They responded with dignity and class. With panache. With gutty realism. With truth. They took some hits but kept moving.
It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.
How much you can take, and keep moving forward.
"That's how winning is done."
- Rocky Balboa
Several government representatives started speaking up on the Dog's behalf, questioning the validity of spending tax dollars to investigate and prosecute someone that should have instead been honored and applauded, by both countries. In Spring 2007, The Hawaiian legislature stepped in with a resolution requesting Mexico to stop the extradition proceedings.
In this tale of two countries, one saw the light - Mexico.
In July 2007, the first Criminal Court in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, dismissed all criminal charges pending against Dog and his team on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. The order effectively canceled all pending charges.
It's Over! (Not)
Mexican Courts dropped all charges against the Dog in August 2007. Per the resolution on page 14 of the translated decision, "The Court hereby orders the DISMISSAL OF THE PRESENT ACTION against the parties and hereby orders their ABSOLUTE FREEDOM."
Free. Free. Free at Last
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.
- Will Rogers
Isn't a dog.
Isn't even "the Dog."
- Benjamin Disraeli
Help The Dog
"We are enlisting our fans and supporters to protest this action by our own government by calling and writing the U.S. Department of State-Office of International Affairs, Judge Barry Kurren, and attorney Ronald Johnson, as well as President Bush, Condaleeza Rice, your Congress men and women and State officials,” said Beth Chapman, the Dog's wife.
“Please keep your calls and letters civil and polite,” said Duane "The Dog" Chapman. He added, “We’ve asked so much of our fans over the past year through this ordeal ... God bless all of you, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Write. Call. Free the Dog.
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Barry M. Kurren, U.S. Magistrate Judge
PJKK Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., C-338, Honolulu, HI 96850
Tel. (808) 541-1306
Ronald Johnson, Assistant U.S. Attorney
PJKK Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 6-100
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850
Tel. (808) 541-2850
TTY: (808) 541-1850
Let me know (by email) if you help the Dog and his family out by buying the book, writing or calling the officials above. You'll be registered to win your very own ...
... High-Fashion Object of Desire
You’ll be on the cutting-edge of the elite fashion vanguard, considered the eclectic gravitas of chic, the future rage of out-of-vogue, and you’ll be able to proudly and pompously ...
... March to Your Own Donkey
PSS. Thanks to Alexandra Ramstrum of Hyperion Books and publisher of "YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE" for all her help.
PSSS. Like the images in this article? Thanks to Tom Hortel. They're on a slide show here - CLICK HERE - use them as your desktop or screensaver.
PSSSS. It's Donkey's Greatest Hits! A colossal collage of Shoot the Donkey images are available for screensavers or desktop themes- CLICK HERE
About Dog the Bounty Hunter:
Duane “Dog” Chapman is the most famous bounty hunter in the world and the star of A&E’s most-watched show, Dog the Bounty Hunter. "Dog the Bounty Hunter" is one of the most popular reality shows on American television today. The series, which is in its 4th season on the A&E network, chronicles the adventures of the world's most famous bounty hunter, Duane "Dog" Chapman, and his family, who serve as his bounty-hunting partners. Dog and his crew have apprehended over 7,000 bail jumpers and criminals, with their most famous capture being Max Factor heir, Andrew Luster. For more information go to:
Dog the Bounty Hunter's official site - http://www.dogthebountyhunter.com.
A Man Called Dog: Part 1
Steve Kayser is an award-winning business writer who has been featured in a marketing best practices case study by MarketingSherpa, A Marketer's Guide to e-Newsletter Publishing, Credibility Branding, Innovation Quarterly, B2B Marketing Trends, PRWEEK, and Faces of E-Content magazine. His writings have appeared in Corporate Finance Magazine, CEO Refresher, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business 2.0, and Fast Company Magazine, among others (mostly comic books disguised as business pubs).
In his spare time, Steve professionally models kilts for Un-Vanity, Non-GQ, and The Manly Kilt Wearing Man monthly magazines.
Steve also headlines fundraising events for his run at an Olympic Gold Medal in the kilt-wearing mechanical bull-riding competition to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2050.
In addition, Steve is retained by a real company - Cincom Systems - selling real stuff - software solutions - (on a very tenuous, minute-by-minute basis) to inspire and motivate others by fulfilling a famous Mark Twain axiom,
Other articles by Steve:
- How to Defeat Your Inner Deadbeat ... with Steve Pressfield, author of the "War of Art," and "The Legend of Bagger Vance"
- Can Thoughts Change Your Business, Your Life … Your World? with Lynne McTaggert, author of "The Intention Experiment"
- When Ode to Misery Beckons ... Find Your Ode to Joy with Dr. Paul Pearsall, international best-selling author of "The Beethoven Principle"
- How Not to Stand Out in Any Crowd ... Pompously Obfuscating On Purpose
- Small Giants Shoot the Donkey ... with Bo Burlingham, author of "Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big"
- What Do You Do With People Like This? Tesla Still Tantalizes
- PR VS. Advertising : 3 Facts of Life with Al Ries, author of "The Death of Advertising & the Rise of PR"
- Beerburgers in Paradise Redux ... the Continuing Quest for the Holy Business Grail
For more (or less) information, contact (or don't), Steve at email@example.com.