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Censorship Crime Music

"Terrorist" Lyrics Land High Schooler In Jail 573

An anonymous reader writes "A Methusen, Mass. high schooler, who goes by the rapper name 'Cammy Dee' has been arrested after posting lyrics that police felt were 'communicating terrorist threats.' This wouldn't be the first time rap lyrics were investigated, but if formally charged for 'communicating terrorist threats' this would a set a chilling low bar for terrorist investigations."
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"Terrorist" Lyrics Land High Schooler In Jail

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 05, 2013 @10:50PM (#43638373)

    Really, if the police have time enough to deal with this, then clearly all the more important crimes have been resolved.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @10:54PM (#43638399)
    Welcome to the USSA where freedom of speech means freedom to praise your government, where the right to bear arms means the right to go hunting, where the right to not be searched without a warrant doesn't apply, where due process can be ignored if the president wants you dead.
  • Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @10:55PM (#43638401)

    but if formally charged for 'communicating terrorist threats' this would a set a chilling low bar for terrorist investigations."

    Please. It's already chillingly low. How many christians have publicly said gays "should burn in hell" ? How many famous celebrities have said they would shoot government officials if they came to take their guns away? I could come up with dozens of examples of more volatile speech by talking heads on television... and god help us if I decide to include examples from that cesspool of humanity called the internet.

    Being called a terrorist or avoiding that label all comes down to who and what you are. It is, and always has been, about that -- not what you say. Look at the boston bomber -- muslim. Terrorist. But the Aurora shooting? Not a terrorist. Those people that blew up a shiite church in Wisconsin? Not terrorists. In fact, as long as you aren't black, or a muslim, you can probably avoid the "terrorist" label.

    The 'terrorist' label is just like the 'communist' label, and before that the 'fascist' label, and before that... you get the idea. Every generation has had their government-sponsored boogieman. Terrorist is ours.

  • by litehacksaur111 (2895607) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @10:56PM (#43638409)
    From looking at the story, it seems like some prosecutor here wants to come off as tough on crime and terrorists to further their political career. This is Aaron Schwartz all over again. This person in question is just some 18 year old who did something stupid. A reasonable punishment seems like 500 hours community service and a $1000 fine. No reason for 20 years in prison for doing something stupid that harmed no one.The average sentence for rape is around 20 years.
  • NRA sedition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 05, 2013 @10:57PM (#43638415)

    The very same day, the head of the NRA said that all americans should be trained in automatic weapons for the eventual day when we have to take over our government.

    That was actually a multi-billion dollar statement in terms of cost to the US.

    Why? because now all those people who hold security positions and had to sign that they had never belonged to an organization that advocated the violent overthorow of the US govt will have to be re-investigated if they continue to belong to the NRA.

    It's basically sedition.

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @10:59PM (#43638431) Journal

    where the white house gets attacked. why dont we lock those fillmakers up? or at least those actors spewing those hateful lines.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:02PM (#43638455)
    Kids who want to be bad listen to rap music and buy into that way of gang life early on. Bill Cosby said it best when he said,"The kids listen to the rap music and get brain damage." Rap music didn't invent crime, but it doesn't discourage it. Between advocating a criminals life, and disrespect for women, much rap music is bad for society in general. Kids get seduced by a life of crime to get their way, and end up trying to live it. They just end up screwing up other people's life and their own. If rap artists were really interested in the well being of their audience, they'd rap about how a kid should take the hard road, study in school, be cool to everyone, respect yourself, and others. There's no street cred when it comes to taking the hard road though. People who buy rap music want to be told they're oppressed, and they should take the easy road out.
  • Re:News For Nerds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:06PM (#43638477)
    Dystopian fiction has always been an interesting topic for nerds. I mean, I'm pretty sure all of us have at least read one or two good dystopian novels that have changed our ways of thinking (1984, Brave New World, We, Anthem, The Time Machine, A Clockwork Orange, etc.) and so when we see the dystopian future that we hoped only existed in the realm of fiction (or at least somewhere other than the US and Western Europe) happening in our backyard, it becomes a discussion point.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:12PM (#43638517)

    Welcome to the USSA where freedom of speech means freedom to praise your government, where the right to bear arms means the right to go hunting, where the right to not be searched without a warrant doesn't apply, where due process can be ignored if the president wants you dead.

    ... Just like every other government on the planet. Government power is only restrained by the People. And the people right now are fat, docile, and more concerned with who'll win the next American Idol. We're a victim of our own material prosperity... but don't worry: When enough people have become impoverished, hungry, and desperate... that'll change. Again, just like every other government on the planet that has failed.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:20PM (#43638563)
    People buy what they want to emulate and it doesn't really matter the genre of music.

    I mean, look at AC/DC's Shoot to Thrill

    "Shoot to thrill, play to kill Too many women with too many pills Shoot to thrill, play to kill I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will"

    Or 22-20 Blues by Skip James (written in 1931)

    "Sometimes she gets unruly An she act like she just don't wanna do But I get my 22-20 I cut that woman half in two"

    Almost any genre of music has "questionable" lyrics. I think it is less of music making people bad as much as it is that those who are attracted to a life of crime will listen to music about a life of crime. Just like how people who like hunting, drinking beer and driving trucks listen to country music, its not because of country music that you like those things, you like those things so you listen to country music.

    Because of this, there will always be an audience for "criminal" rappers, having a bunch of "quality" rappers won't change it.
  • by jrumney (197329) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:26PM (#43638601) Homepage

    If every musician went and got counseling instead of turning their anger into music and lyrics, we'd all be listening to Justin Beiber. Think about that next time you suggest that someone with a perfectly harmless outlet for their anger "needs counseling" because some people find what they say disturbing.

  • by Libertarian001 (453712) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:28PM (#43638607)

    In other words you don't actually believe in free speech. Good to know.

    The kid is an idiot for saying that in charged political times. Doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to say it.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:30PM (#43638633)
    Revolutions generally end up with more problems than they solve. About the only "successful" revolutions have been people revolting against have been against a foreign power that generally doesn't provide much for them.

    Yes, the American revolution was (mostly) successful but more often than not they just trade one form of tyranny for another (Russian revolution, French revolution, etc.)

    And there has already been too much compromise made within the structure of the US government to save it beyond a complete restructuring which simply is too massive to ever realistically happen (due to stuff like precedence in the court system, the entire mess with regulatory agencies, etc. I mean just look at the number of antiquated laws on the books now!)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:30PM (#43638637)

    You are a fucking moron. First of all, you've never been to every country, second you've probably never even been outside of the USA. Stop casting your own government's failings on the rest of the world.

    Shut the fuck up unless you have firsthand experience. I've personally LIVED in countries that were much more free than the USA and had governments that the people genuinely liked.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:31PM (#43638641)

    The reasonable punishment is ZERO. It's a song, and it is protected speech.

  • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:50PM (#43638757)

    A couple questions:
    When in US history has the government been taken over by rogue elements? In these cases did an Armed Citizenry actually stop said rogue elements?

    In the numerous cases where the government has actually oppressed it's people (slavery, segregation, etc.), can you name a single instance of the armed citizenry stopping them?

  • Re:Hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirSlud (67381) on Sunday May 05, 2013 @11:59PM (#43638835) Homepage

    Well, it's not like you guys ever taught the American Revolution to begin with in so far as what actually happened.

  • by SirSlud (67381) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:05AM (#43638861) Homepage

    That's called a confirmation bias. I think you'd have to be pretty ignorant to ignore the social conditions that drove the birth of gangster rap, and the fact that the rise of gangster rap in the 90s was actually thanks to the purchasing power of the white suburban class who wanted to be bad ass. I'm fairly confident in saying that you haven't any credibility on the history of rap anymore than I have any credibility in speaking about metal.

  • Re:Lyrics? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:06AM (#43638867)

    If its ok to plot killing the president if its for a book?
    I am sure most people are ok with people making an alternate reality that may be terroristic in nature if its for the purpose of a piece of art or whatever.
    I am no rap fan, but if those are rap lyrics he is as guilty as a writer that wrote a terrorist plot.

    Its not impossible to carry a serious message, but it is very possible and likely that its intention is not to be a bomb threat.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:13AM (#43638899)

    Old joke from Soviet times:

    Q: Is there freedom of speech in the USSA?
    A: Yes. Though it highly depends on the speech whether there's freedom after speech.

  • by narcc (412956) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:13AM (#43638901) Journal

    This person in question is just some 18 year old who did something stupid. A reasonable punishment seems like 500 hours community service and a $1000 fine.

    Try this on for size: "The person in question is just some 18 year old who said something stupid. Punishment is unnecessary as he's done nothing wrong."

    See, the kid never actually threatened anyone. His little rap song was directed at no one. He even made not as himself, but as his play-pretend rapper persona.

    That goofy song of his is actually a very healthy way for him to deal with his feelings of powerlessness. Children (and even some adults) do this all the time. It's perfectly normal.

    A cute example: My wife and I were watching a friends 4-year-old. We used to keep crabs, which the little fellow really enjoyed watching -- even though he was a little bit frighted by them. To deal with those feelings, he told me about the giant robot crab that eats other crabs but (and this is the important part) doesn't eat people.

    How would you prefer that this young suburban rapper deal with his feelings? Write a story, sing a song, paint a picture, etc. or rob a store, bully other kids, do drugs, etc.?

  • by Xenx (2211586) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:15AM (#43638915)
    Armed citizenry is kind of how we broke free and ultimately formed the nation. Just because it wasn't specifically against the US government, it isn't any less valid.
  • Re:Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:18AM (#43638921)

    Really? How many "hate criminals" are shipped off to Gitmo without a trial?

  • Re:Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:24AM (#43638953)

    Here's the double-standard:
    Every holy book has brutally violent sections. In the Old Testament God orders genocide more then once. Which means that if you think Islam has to be singled out due to it's violent nature you also think that Judaism, and the third Abrahamic religion (Christianity) need singling out. And in the US the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims are pretty much everyone. It should also be noted that all three religions are explicitly anti-freedom in their holy books. God never lays out a freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc. in the Old Testament. He simply says "Do this Jew-boy, or I will find a really creative fucking way to make you suffer." He doesn't create a Congress to balance the Kings of Judea. He just makes David a King. Then Jesus shows up and he doesn't say "Only obey the Emperor when the Emperor respects this list of your freedoms," he says "give the Emperor whatever the fuck he wants."

    In other words, you really don't want to have a debate over whether the Koran is more anti-freedom then your Holy Book. It may very well be, but the simple fact is that it doesn't really matter. Just as modern Christians and Jews engage in mental gymnastics to justify obeying three branches of government when God clearly establishes a King and no Legislature, Muslims can reason their way around a Hadith.

    Moreover you're missing her point:
    When's the last time you heard of a Neonazi attack called terrorism? What about the Klan? Both groups exist solely to terrorize large proportions of the American people, but they are never identified as terrorists. In fact the most successful terror-campaign in US History was the Klan's campaign against blacks in the aftermath of Reconstruction. Before the Klan started several southern states were majority black. They managed to get 20 point drops in the black population throughout the South.

  • by narcc (412956) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:27AM (#43638979) Journal

    So ... you're going with the presumption of guilt?

    There's a very good reason that our system doesn't work that way. Didn't you see that episode of Star Trek?

  • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Monday May 06, 2013 @12:43AM (#43639049)

    The Armed citizenry was part of it, but you're missing a lot. The Prussian Drill Washington instituted under Baron von Steuben was the antithesis of Armed Citizens, and even with an Armed Citizenry and an actual army Washington couldn't win until after Admiral de Grasse delivered the historic coup de grasse at the battle of Chesepeake. Armed citizens could make it difficult for the British to hold territory, but they simply could not drive the British out.

    And that was in the days when 100 guys with hunting rifles were better-armed then 100 combat troops with military-grade weapons. Nowadays military technology has moved on. A guy with a rifle is not a threat to any modern Army. What they fear are roadside bombs, IEDs, and similar devices.

  • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Monday May 06, 2013 @01:02AM (#43639119)

    Do you mean 1776? Because the change in government in 1774 was the creation of Congress, and if Congress is the "rogue element," that an Armed Citizenry is supposed to fight then the Armed Citizenry lost.

    If you're trying to refer to 1776, as I mentioned in another post we couldn't have won that war without a professional army, the French Navy, and French money to pay for it all.

    Even if you give the Armed Citizenry 100% credit, you have to ask how they'd beat the US Army today?

    The Taliban have weapons orders of magnitude better then anything that has even been legal in the US because they have RPGs. Their backup weapon is better then anything currently street-legal in the US (fully auto AKs are not street legal). And yet most of their successful attacks are IEDs.

    Military technology is changed. As a weapon today the rifle is where the sword was in 1860-65. It's useful militarily in certain tactical situations, but basing your entire tyranny-prevention policy on rifles...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @01:39AM (#43639249)

    In these cases did an Armed Citizenry actually stop said rogue elements?

    46 years ago [wikipedia.org]

    But the unarmed citizenry was far more effective (MLK & Co.).

  • by elfprince13 (1521333) on Monday May 06, 2013 @01:47AM (#43639275) Homepage
    And in this day and age, it takes much less skill to build things that go boom than it does to learn to shoot well.
  • Re: NRA sedition (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeCre8iv (563502) on Monday May 06, 2013 @02:11AM (#43639347)
    before arguing/trolling over the question of race, RTFA and identify the rapper.
  • by muridae (966931) on Monday May 06, 2013 @02:11AM (#43639349)

    My notebooks from highschool were filled with that sort of stuff. Listen to anything from the early goth to late industrial music, from the Cure through NIN to Assemblage 23, and some of the lyrics would disturb anyone. Metal music has entire genres devoted to it.

    Point being, writing is therapy for some people. Putting the hate, rage, depression, anger, isolation, abuse, whatever into words makes it real. That's a reason writing therapy, and music therapy, are proven counseling methods. Getting those emotions out, on paper, where they can be looked at and understood is a good thing, I agree. But it can be counseling too.

  • Re:Hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday May 06, 2013 @02:46AM (#43639475) Homepage

    Don't be silly, Gitmo isn't for criminals, it's for getting reward money equal to two or three times your yearly income plus you get to be rid of that annoying neighbor you've had a grudge against forever.

  • by jpatters (883) on Monday May 06, 2013 @04:49AM (#43639865)


    The thing that will prevent tyranny is an educated populace, and the political faction most associated with the NRA is the same faction that is trying to gut education in this country.

    They want everyone ignorant and afraid, so they can sell more guns.

  • Re:NRA sedition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@ ... minus herbivore> on Monday May 06, 2013 @04:53AM (#43639877)

    Here is people like you don't get!

    The Connecticut shooter was a good guy UNTIL he pulled the trigger. The Colorado shooter was a good guy UNTIL he pulled the trigger! All of you NRA nutballs thinks that if we somehow manage to isolate the bad guys then the good guys can take them down like a shoot out in the OK corral! The reality is that the bad guys come from the pool we call the good guys. We only know they are bad once they have done their act.

    Simply put it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep the guns out of the bad guys because they are the good guys to start off with. Yes yes some bad guys are bad guys and are able to get guns. But I ask you a simple question, how the eff did they bad guys get a gun in the first place?

    Think hard about this. Smith Wesson (good guy) makes a gun, exchange, exchange, exchange, shooter (bad guy) kills person. We started this chain with a good guy and ended up with a bad guy. How did this happen? According to the NRA it was pixie dust where the gun magically appeared and no good guy was responsible foe it. This is why gun control is not only needed, it is an absolute for it is the good guys that are coopting our society, not the bad guys doing the action. Because bad guys are just that bad guys, but it is the good guys that do business with the bad guys that are the real problems.

  • by alendit (1454311) on Monday May 06, 2013 @05:13AM (#43639927)

    The thing that will prevent tyranny is an educated populace.

    This simply can not be stressed enough.

  • by Grashnak (1003791) on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:08AM (#43640131)

    And apologies for being a doofus and not actually reading what you wrote. Doh.

  • Re:NRA sedition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unitron (5733) on Monday May 06, 2013 @07:59AM (#43640615) Homepage Journal

    Go read the part of The Constitution where they limit funding of the military to a short period of time before it has to come up again.

    The FFs were big on the idea of *not* maintaining a standing army, both for avoiding the expense, but even more importantly because they knew that having one created too great a temptation to use it just because it's there, and wanted to keep us away from that kind of mischief.

    Having militias made up of civilians with day jobs who also had hunting rifles or whatever meant they could still throw together a defensive force on short notice.

  • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:47AM (#43642301)

    A guy with a rifle is not a threat to any modern Army.

    Yeah, cause we haven't lost any troops to guys with rifles in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Check the casualty figures.

    IEDs are responsible for roughly 60% of our casualties. Every non-IED incident where we had multiple casualties is either a) an RPG, or b) a car bomb.

    I didn't say rifles were useless. You can kill people with them. But if the people of America start taking potshots at marines with their rifles the people of America will get their asses kicked. Body Armor exists.

    What they fear are roadside bombs, IEDs, and similar devices.

    So explosives should be legal?

    That would be a valid conclusion to draw if one believed an armed citizenry was a good idea.

    I don't.

    I grew up in a black area. In the black experience Armed Citizens are the ones who decide that a) they have a Constitutional right to oppress their neighbors, and b) the Federal government has no jurisdiction to stop them. About half the time they actually convince said Federal government of this fact. At various times this has led to actual slavery, KKK terrorism reducing the black population of various southern states by 20 points (in other words: genocide), segregation, etc.

    As far as I can tell all an Armed Citizenry has ever done is a) get killed by the Army protesting taxes, and b) got rid of one corrupt Southern Sheriff. In modern times there are perfectly effective methods of protest that don't get anyone killed, so really all you've got is b). And trading one Sheriff for Segregation does not seem like a very good trade to me.

  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Monday May 06, 2013 @11:35AM (#43642907) Homepage Journal
    Not just educated, but educated in tyrannical regimes and systems from abusive relationships to cults to dictatorships which all share common elements apart from scale. Sociology of coercive persuasion [wikipedia.org] in should be taught. 1984, Farenheit 451, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest and many others should all be required reading in school. It's not enough to teach math, science, and so forth. The Soviet Union and their satellites had fantastic educational systems when it comes to the sciences.

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