Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Like Dan Riehl, I intend to do no meaningful research whatsoever into what I am talking about in this post.

Nevertheless, via Big Hollywood and everything, this wild-eyed craziness is interesting.

Seems the city of Hardin in Montana got rooked into building a big badly-designed prison for which no prison population was anticipated. With nowhere else to go and wanting revenue for a white elephant the city signs a contract with a private operator who will somehow fill the prison.

Nobody really knows much about the private operator, American Police Force. Its website is amateurish shit - "Some of our services include Kidknapping & Ransoms for ransom" -- double-dash WTF???-- - and they rode into town in black vehicles with tinted windows bearing stickers that said they were Hardin's police force. Their spokesman has a thick accent. They've mentioned running a homeless shelter and an animal shelter in addition to whatever-the-fuck they're trying to convince people they actually do.

Man, if I was a right-wing militia nut I would be climbing the walls. It looks to me as if the city has hired yet another bunch of folks to build a better monorail, but this second group is incompetent in ways that jibe perfectly with the prevailing paranoia of the neighbourhood. Giant crazy plans, secrecy, foreigners, claims of outrageous baddassery, and, uh, puppies.

Good luck citizens of Hardin. I believe your city will have a long life in the rhetoric of crazymen. Let's hope it works out safely.

Somewhat sad update:

Seems I am way behind some relatively sober Freepers in smelling a scam.

A further update:

Calif. jail entrepreneur has checkered past
BILLINGS, Mont. — Michael Hilton pitched himself to officials in Hardin, Mont. as a military veteran turned private sector entrepreneur, a California defense contractor with extensive government contracts who promised to turn the rural city's empty jail into a cash cow.

Hardin's leaders were desperate to fill the $27 million jail, which has sat empty since its 2007 completion.

So when Hilton came to town last week — wearing a military-style uniform and offering three Mercedes SUVs for use by local law enforcement — he was greeted with hugs by some grateful residents. The promise of more than 200 new jobs for a community struggling long before the recession hit had won them over.

But public documents and interviews with Hilton's associates and legal adversaries offer a different picture, that of a convicted felon with a number of aliases, a string of legal judgments against him, two bankruptcies and a decades-long reputation for deals gone bad.
Much more at the link.


mikey said...

Well, fuck this.

I'm moving to Hardin.

It's not like I have anything keeping me here.

And Hardin's GOTTA be funnier than Sily Valley, honsper...

Substance McGravitas said...

APF's hiring.

Two Rivers Authority said...

Do not be disrespecting our Authority.

J— said...

Its website is amateurish shit

Ravel's "Bolero" would indicate otherwise.

They provide a Check Your Mate service.

Infidelity, Adultery, Cheating, and being unfaithful might all have a different definition in your mind but at APF its a category all by its lonesome. Married husbands and wives will typically call untrustworthy loved ones adultery or infidelity. In the non-marital relationships its commonly known as cheating and we can help you figure out what's really going on.


Its not against the law to cheat[.]

Nor is it illegal to butcher languagality.

Yes, they do provide Semen Testing and Photos of Unknown Subjects.

J— said...

They sell megaphones and WMDs. Or is it protection against WMDs. I can't tell. In any event, international only.

tigris said...

being unfaithful [i]s a category all by its lonesome

I assume that was unintentional, which gives me a sad.

Substance McGravitas said...

Being unfaithful
Comes all by its lonesome
It wouldn't happen
If you were at home some.

mikey said...

The last word in "lonesome" is "me".

There is no "am" in team.

Um. Oh yeah...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I am willing to design Hardin's new City Hall.

Substance McGravitas said...

I am willing to design Hardin's new City Hall.


They'll just spend millions on a bond issue: it's gotta work out right?

J— said...

Private security firm astroturf.

Here's a good one:

Hardin built the jail two years ago as an economic development project but was never able to find any prisoners.

Its agreement with American Police Force - worth at least $2.6 million a year - has yet to be validated by U.S. Bank, the trustee on the construction bonds used to pay for the facility.

Those bonds went into default in May, 2008.

As the Sheriff of Nottingham says in Robin Hood, there's something funny going on around here.

J— said...

Here's some more fun. One of the administrators at the Stealth Fusion forum finds that the Santa Ana physical address the American Police Force used to list on its website is actually that of a medical marijuana outfit. Later in the thread a new commented with that outfit's name shows up and says hey, we're in Suite 200, the paramilitaries are in 201. Fix it. The administrator comes back and says well, that's what they put on their own website, and your suite is publicly listed as a dermatology clinic.

M. Bouffant said...

Has to be a joke/prank of some sort.

Not a single red white & blue, stripe or star to be seen. "American" Police Force?

Attempt at provocation by Russkies, at worst. (That's the Serbian Coat of Arms they use as a logo.)

Note guy on this page. A Russo.

J— said...

Okay, for the sake of clarity and this is important shit and all that, the forum administrator says #201 (the mercenaries, not the pot dispensers) is publicly listed as a dermatology place, but I think they got the street address wrong, so who knows what's really publicly listed in Suite 201. Enough.

Substance McGravitas said...

There's a recent AP article that says more, linked above. Scam quite possible.

mikey said...

"Couldn't find any prisoners?"

Are you shitting me? The goddam place is LOUSY with prisoners. You spend half your life falling over the fuckers. What, are you blind?

Hey! Steven Hawking! There's a couple dozen prisoners over here. Wanna lock 'em up?

Here's an idea. Just build a big old stupid PRISON. For 27 million fucking dollars. 'Cause there's just not another thing you can do for your schools, your hospitals, your infrastructure, you community. Not one single thing you could think of to do but build a prison with NO FREAKING IDEA what you'll do with it. Yeah, that was some GOVERNANCE right there, is what that was. Fuckers make Schwartzenegger look like a brilliant statesman or some shit.


Substance McGravitas said...

I think I called that one with the Marge vs. the Monorail link.

Yes, dumbest money-making scheme possible, with the most miserable of hopes behind it: that more people will be locked up.

fish said...

Hardin's new City Hall.

curtscry during the World Series was truly memorable.

Substance McGravitas said...

They could be the Three-Card Monte capital of America. That might bring in some bucks. The difficulty is in the town leaders knowing which practitioners of the art are the best.

J— said...

From the recent AP article:

Two California attorneys said Wednesday that after learning of Hilton's latest activities they planned to follow him to Montana to seek payment on the outstanding judgments against him.

"Once I know that there is an asset or some sort of funds to go after, we'll go after it," said Call's attorney, Roger Naghash.

There are some nice Mercedes SUVs. That's a start.

I hope a scriptwriter or two has made their way up to Hardin, too, because this story is just too good. In addition to the con man who calls himself Captain, the town that said if we build it, they will come, the lawyers seeking back payment, the state legislator who says they may have violated the state constitution because it's the legislature that decides who gets to be law enforcement in Montana, you also have the local reporter who had been covering the story but suddenly quit her 20-year job as a journalist to become spokesperson for the empty firm and the empty jail it's supposed to run because they gave her a new car and promised to help her get a new home.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

the lawyers seeking back payment

Hold on just a dang minnit here.

LAWYERS can't get paid from this burg? What chance does a simple architect have?

Deal's off.

Substance McGravitas said...

Zombie, the city will pony up the dough for, um, all that and a pony, but AFP will not.

Just don't build for AFP and you'll be fine. You can probably build the whole thing outta flubber if you like.

Substance McGravitas said...

It's like State and Main with more boneheads.

J— said...

They have uniforms (see #4), so it must be legit. Everyone loves and respects a man in uniform.

J— said...

The Montana attorney general's office has taken an interest in APF.

Specifically, Bullock wants proof for many of the statements on APF's website which have been called into question by media reports in recent days -- such as the claims that the company frequently has contracts with the U.S. government, and has operations in all 50 states.

Dude, when you get your site's text by copying and pasting stuff you find elsewhere on the internet (try it if you haven't already--each time I've copied text from the APF site into Google, the search engine shows other sources for it), all statements posted have a good possibility of having been truthful somewhere at some place in time.

herr doktor bimler said...

Everyone loves and respects a man in uniform.
What J-- said.