New pope to go back in time, assist LA police chief in 1975 conversion effort

1. From Letters of Note:

2. From Gawker:

All in all, the police chief seems the more mellow of the two. People were more easygoing in the 70s, I guess. You can look at the photos and judge for yourself.

11 Responses to New pope to go back in time, assist LA police chief in 1975 conversion effort

  1. Pepe March 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I don’t see what you find so amusing. Considering that it is essentially the same opinion held by most Republican Presidential contenders in 2012, how can you be surprised that a priest thinks this way? If you want progressivism look at his stances towards the poor or redistribution, where he doesn’t fare so badly (especially compared to Republicans).

    • Andrew Gelman March 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm #


      Who said anything about wanting progressivism? I’m just picturing this awesome sitcom where the 2013 Pope goes back to 1975 L.A. to offer strategy tips to the police force on their anti-vice initiatives. I can just see it: Francis starts going on about lying accusers and the war of God, and Davis is like, Hey dude, chill out man, we’re just doing this for the cameras!

  2. Matt Cleary March 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I thought the main purpose of this blog was to provide informed political commentary. Unfortunately when I checked in today, all I got was a snarky hyperbolic post that denigrated my faith. What a sad day for this blog.

    • Andrew Gelman March 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm #


      Not to worry. If you scroll up, you’ll see another silly post. But the one after that is serious and informative.

      If you check the history of this blog, you’ll find we have a long tradition of silliness, most notably by the blog’s cofounder, Lee Sigelman.

      P.S. I agree my post was snarky but I don’t see anything hyperbolic about it. Can you explain?

  3. longwalkdownlyndale March 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    I’m going to have to cry foul on this one. Acording to the Wikipedia article about Davis: “On April 10, 1976 over a hundred officers, with Davis present, raided a charitable “slave auction” event and bragged to reporters that they had freed the slaves. Dozens of men were detained on charges of violating an 1899 anti-slavery statute, but the expensive raid was criticized by the city council and no one was convicted.” Now I know that Francis might have said some mean things you (and I) disagree with, but its not like he’s rounding up dozens of people. There were also allegations that officers dangled a youth over a cliff by his ankles during this period to get information on a pedophile ring (that’s some old school LAPD inve-stima-gating for you). And he had police officers register as students at UCLA and take classes to perform surveillance on the political activities of students and professors. So yeah, I think I don’t think Francis’s vague analogies about the devil are worse, or necessarily comparable.

    That said any show about people traveling back in time to the 70’s would be great, the British version of “Life On Mars” was awesome, for example.

  4. Andrew Gelman March 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm #


    Indeed, the full stories are much more complicated than given in the two letters quoted above. I don’t know the police chief’s connection to actions involving investigations of a pedophile ring, nor do I know the Pope’s connection to actions involving coverup of pedophiles in his organization. I was speaking merely of their rhetoric, where the police chief and the Pope had similar positions but the police chief expressed his with more of a sense of humor, or so it seems.

  5. Matt_L March 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Tough crowd Andrew Gelman. Tough crowd.

    • Andrew Gelman March 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      What can I say? I’m not a very good troll. I try and try but I don’t have that magic touch.

      • Mark March 17, 2013 at 10:46 am #

        You’re right. Stick to the analytics which you are good at. You fall on your face every time you try something other than that.

        • Andrew Gelman March 17, 2013 at 11:41 am #

          Maybe if I do it for 10,000 hours . . .

          • Mark March 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

            That is a good one Andrew, maybe you are learning!