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The Internet exerts a curious influence over its denizens. People who, if they are not reasonable, might at least harbor a healthy respect for the consequences of their misdeeds, seem to think society’s rules and laws don’t apply when typing and speaking online. In years past we used to blame this on the anonymity afforded by the network of networks that is the Web, but this obviously false sense of security is rapidly evaporating. Those who use the Internet are more aware than ever that their identities are known or knowable – yet they continue to speak as if they believe they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, never to be held accountable for their statements.

Please understand that accountability is not sanction for saying something unpopular. A journalist and a math teacher in Mexico are sitting in jail right now on what seem to be trumped up charges of inciting “hysteria.” Their crime? They used the social media site Twitter to transmit bogus information about a terrorist attack.

Compare this, which at first blush appears to be authoritarian squelching of free speech by Mexican authorities, to the legal scrutiny under which rapper “The Game” recently fell. The Game, whose given name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, managed to jam the phone lines to his local Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department when he tweeted the Compton station’s number. The matter was dropped, but the attitude was obvious: It’s the Internet, so it shouldn’t be taken seriously … should it?

One rapper’s errant tweet may not be news to you, but there is an epidemic of irresponsible speech online and in our news. The immediacy with which news and communication is transmitted globally – which we can blame on the Internet and the technological connections linking us all, from PC to tablet to wireless smartphone – exacerbates the problem. Run your mouth today, and it won’t be weeks or months before somebody finds out and complains. It won’t even be days. It will be moments, minutes, even seconds.

Another rapper, one “Soulja Boy,” learned this recently. When he trashed military service in his latest release, the backlash was so strong and so immediate that he quickly issued an apology: “[N]ot only did my words come out wrong, I was wrong to even speak them.”

I might point out that writing, recording, mixing and releasing a song is not an act of spontaneity, but at least he apologized. I doubt he would have been so eager to recant had public reaction not been so quick to reach his doorstep.

What the occasional rap musician learns to do, the typical liberal politician ignores. Spewing a racist, hate-filled rant rivaled by few others (though, sadly, not unusual for elected Democrats), Rep. Andre Carson told a crowd in Miami, in late August, that the tea party comprises a bunch of racists who want to lynch black people. When his remarks – an obvious encouragement to do violence against his political opponents – prompted an outcry, Carson refused to apologize. He seems, instead, to be proud of his words.

The violent lib rhetoric culminated this week in a Labor Day address by a slurring, at times incoherent Jimmy Hoffa Jr., a union leader who obviously hasn’t learned the lesson his father did. That lesson is that it is, shall we say, inadvisable, to threaten large groups of people with violence. When you do that, they might believe you, and they might defend themselves.

“Let’s take these son of a bitches out,” Hoffa declared. His meaning was explicit and not excusable. He was saying, clearly and publicly, that his political opponents in the tea party must be intimidated, assaulted and killed. That is what it means to “take out” someone whom you characterize in such profane terms. There is no other plausible explanation.

Hoffa did not make his statements on Twitter – but it was on Twitter that I found out about them, and it was through social media like Twitter and Facebook that word of Hoffa’s threats spread faster than flames. What Hoffa does not seem to understand, what his fellow libs do not seem to grasp, is that you cannot make these public threats with impunity.

In the court of public opinion, on the street initiating violence against a citizen whose right is to self-defense, and, if need be, before judges and juries in our legal system, violent libs WILL be held accountable. These Democratic thugs are lucky we are not the violent people they accuse us of being. We are, in fact, the epitome of restraint. The hypocrite, would-be bullies among the liberals, who are so eager, so enthusiastic, to do violence against us because we dare to disagree with them, should be thanking whatever gods or godless doctrines they worship that we possess the self-control they lack.

Every single person you’d like to “take out,” you leftist cowards, is a real human being who isn’t just going to lay down and die because you demanded it. While you’re whining and mewling about the “violent rhetoric” and “hate speech” you read into and misconstrue from innocent comments made by conservatives and libertarians, remember that it is your side of the political aisle making genuine, explicit and legally actionable exhortations to physical assault.

Whether you say it to my face or over the Internet doesn’t matter. When you threaten me, when you threaten your political and ideological opponents, you open a door to real-life consequences. Responsibility for your reckless misbehavior stands impatiently on the other side of that door … a door you and your fellow travelers have been knocking on, scratching at, and kicking down for years.

So. make your threats, liberals. Shout from your blogs. Bluster from your websites. Bully from your Twitter accounts. Tell us, from your podiums, that you want to shut us up and shut us down. Admit that you want to beat us and kill us.

When you’re finished, pray no one takes you seriously – because then you just might have to put your money where your filthy mouths are.

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