How others’ alcohol use became your business: The Toxin-omics

Drinking is ‘The American Way,’ ‘How We Roll,’ ‘Harmless Fun,’ or just ‘None of Your Damn Business.’ Just ask a drinker. He or she doesn’t even need to have the disease of alcoholism: You attempt to get between a person and the beverage of choice and you’ll hear defense. The defense is offensive when you know the economics of the toxin and drug alcohol.

The economic impact of drinking – casual drinking and alcoholic use – tallies an eye-popping $250 billion every single year in the U.S. By way of comparison, smoking costs the economy $173 billion… all other drugs combined cost the economy $130 billion. A 2011 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute determined the cost of all cancer care in the U.S. totaled $124.5 billion in 2010 … half as large as the alcohol toll. How big is the we-don’t-have-a-problem alcohol problem, by the numbers?

  • That’s enough to buy a 48 inch HDTV for every man, woman and child in the U.S. And an X-Box. Every year.
  • Two-hundred-fifty billion dollars is the same as the annual expenditure on fashion and apparel in the entire U.S.
  • The Treasury in 2008 bailed out the banks with a $250 billion “investment” that created critical echoing still heard in the 2016 Presidential campaign and brought hundreds of 99 Percenters camping in Wall Street. That was just a one year expense.
  • For the ubersmart Keynesian economists out there, $250 billion is a NEGATIVE GDP (gross domestic product) value of $74 billion. (For those of us less-smart: Alcohol shrinks the economy the way it shrinks libido.)
  • For the 216 world economies tracked in the CIA World Factbook, $250 billion is bigger than the 40th largest economy on the planet, and bigger than the output of the bottom one-third of countries COMBINED.

The costs are in healthcare, lost productivity, legal and corrections costs. Alcoholism is part of the total, but $250 billion is driven by all drinking, even social or moderate use. The CDC readily admits the $250 billion is on the low side, too. The researchers believe that the study still underestimates the cost of excessive drinking because information on alcohol is often underreported or unavailable, and the study did not include other costs, such as pain and suffering due to alcohol-related injuries and diseases.

Alcohol revenue does not cover alcohol economic damage
The monetary consequences are something everyone shares: Drinkers and non-drinkers alike. The numbers get complicated, because the drug Americans enjoy and defend so vigorously, also costs the most in health and hard dollars. Each drink consumed has a median cost of $2.05 in economic harm (lost productivity, health care costs, property damage and criminal justice system expenses). That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So the drinker pays for that in alcohol tax, right? No. The median paid in tax per drink is less than a nickel a drink. The Tax Policy Center estimates that state and local taxes on alcoholic beverages bring in about $6 billion in revenue nationwide. The overall economic benefit from the manufacture and distribution is less than a quarter per drink.

Industry watchdog, Alcohol Justice, suggests closing the gap between tax revenue and the economic damage, which may also reduce use. According to Alcohol Justice’s Charge for Harm Campaign, “Big Alcohol produces, sells, and promotes products that cause harm and incur costs – to both government and its citizens. Appropriately taxing alcohol at state and federal levels will help reduce related harm and provide needed funds. We support state and federal increases in alcohol taxes and fees.”
Even if drinkers bore the full $2.05, everyone else still pays in lost productivity. Show up late, never, hungover or just without your A-game and someone has to step in or step up. It doesn’t always happen that way. Which costs the company. So the company charges more for its goods or services. Lost productivity, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is more than 70 percent of the $250 billion annual cost of alcohol use in the United States. Every shopper pays… no matter if we shop Walmart or Macy’s.

This is the part of the revenue formula pro-alcohol forces leave out of the dialogue when pushing for more beverage licenses, longer hours of service, and absurd ideas like selling alcohol at college sports venues. With greater access to alcohol, the revenue does go up in a bar, store, or restaurant. But so does the economic damage. And never the twain shall meet.

Need a hospital bed? Wait. And pay more.
Here’s another way to look at the economic harm. There is an alcohol-related hospital admission every 30 seconds and, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) 20-40 percent of general use (non-specialty) hospital beds are used to tend to alcohol-related complications. Heroin addicts aren’t breaking the healthcare system. Aging Baby Boomers aren’t pushing it past capacity. Alcohol use is drowning it.

Health care costs related to alcohol use are not limited to the drinker. There are unintended – and sober – victims in traffic crashes you’ve no doubt heard about from the impaired driving activists, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). However, children of alcoholics who are admitted to the hospital average 62 percent more hospital days and 29 percent longer stays according to the Children of Alcoholics Foundation.

Nested inside of every major cause of death in the U.S. is the fact that alcohol use is a contributing factor to each of those causes of death or hospitalization. Alcohol is a carcinogen, for example. It is the second-leading cause of oral cancers and is the only dietary connection ever made to an increased risk of breast cancer. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimated the price of cancer care for one year of life increased to $207,000 in 2013.

Heart disease, not cirrhosis, is the leading killer related to drinking. Annually, about one in every six U.S. healthcare dollars is spent on cardiovascular disease. By 2030, annual direct medical costs associated with cardiovascular diseases are projected to rise to more than $818 billion, while lost productivity costs could exceed $275 billion. What is the preventative measure hiding in plain sight? Stopping drinking. About 1 in 3 adults—or approximately 86 million people—have at least one type of cardiovascular disease, which means many more Americans could die from what is often preventable through lifestyle changes or managing medical conditions. There are 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. annually. One in five strokes is alcohol-related. One dollar spent on alcohol education (e.g. abstinence) saves $4 in healthcare costs down the road. (Plus $7 in criminal justice system costs for good measure.)

Bottom line: We ALL pay
The healtcare cost equation under mandated insurance means part of every insurance policy premium is gobbled up to care for alcohol-related problems. An insured person doesn’t have an account from which he or she dips. Insurance premiums are pooled. You can be a non-drinker… your own premium will be lower because of your relationship with alcohol… but your premium will still reflect the experience of the insurance pool. With insurance mandatory, and 67 to 70 percent of adults using alcohol in the past year, there is a majority of your insurance dollar used to mitigate the expense of drinking.

Binge drinking alone – four or more drinks per occasion for a woman and five or more drinks for a man – accounts for more than 75 percent of costs related to excessive alcohol use in all states, just under $171 billion. Binge drinking is reported by about 18 percent of adults in America. (Wager that the self-reported binge drinking number is MUCH higher, people aren’t typically honest about their answer to the non-of-your-damn-business question.) According to the CDC. binge drinkers and their families paid less than half of the costs associated with high alcohol use (41.5 percent) while federal, state and local governments paid about 42 percent, or more than $94 billion, of the costs.

The government doesn’t have a separate checkbook funded by drinkers or beverage companies to pay for this: It uses your checkbook.

Visit for more on the health and economic costs of drinking a toxin and known carcinogen. And order The A-Files: Alcohol A-Z for what alcohol does TO you, not FOR you.

Deceived by the Lightning


This article first appeared in the News Watch column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 28, number 3 (2005). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to:

Christians in mainland China’s “underground” house churches have faced persecution from the country’s Communist government for years. They now face another threat from one of the mainland’s largest cults, which frequently uses deception and coercion to gain converts from among house churches.

The cult calls itself “The Church of Almighty God.” The Chinese government refers to it as the “Real God” cult. Chinese Christians call it “Eastern Lightning.” Its followers believe that Jesus has returned in the form of a Chinese woman, like “lightning that comes from the east,” according to the description of His second coming in Matthew 24:27.

Estimates of the group’s size vary. A November 2001 Time magazine article titled “Jesus is Back, and She’s Chinese” said followers numbered themselves at 300,000, although observers estimated only tens of thousands. A 2002 report produced by the Center for Religious Freedom, which contained copies of seven confidential documents from a Chinese government report on religious cults, said that the group had active organizations in more than 10 provinces and cities and was deceiving thousands. China For Jesus, a Christian mission organization, estimates that the cult has more than a million members in 20 provinces. Fear of government persecution has driven religious groups in China underground, making an accurate head count of any group’s followers virtually impossible.

According to the secret security documents, the public security minister, Jia Chunwang, called for increased action against the cult, saying, “We need to work more, talk less to smash the cult quietly.” Security officials are concerned by the cult’s declaration that China is the Great Red Dragon of the book of Revelation who faces destruction. Beijing police arrested more than 2,000 followers of the cult prior to 2002, but they were not able to destroy the group.

Scores of first-hand accounts received by Christian organizations working in China confirm the devastating effect that the Eastern Lightning cult is having on the house churches. A report titled “When China’s Christians Wish They Were in Prison,” by Paul Hattaway, director of the mission organization Asia Harvest, contains accounts of Christians being deceived, kidnapped, brainwashed, beaten, poisoned, and blackmailed by the cult. One worker in northwest China told Hattaway that the Chinese house churches that usually experience phenomenal growth had been declining due to the cult’s activities. He explained, “In the past year many of our leaders were targeted by the Eastern Lightning cult. Some were attracted by their financial inducements and joined them. Later, when they discovered what they’d joined was not biblical, they were not permitted to leave. Dozens of our believers are missing, dozens more crippled. Some who have managed to escape the cult’s clutches are in hiding, fearing for their lives. At least two of our people have been murdered. Others have simply vanished.”

In April 2002, Eastern Lightning members kidnapped 34 leaders of the China Gospel Fellowship, a network of house churches. Cult members posing as representatives of Haggai Institute, a leadership training school in China, lured the leaders to attend a seminar where they were separated and held against their will. One woman managed to escape and alert the police. By June all the others had escaped or were released, although some who were drugged while being held captive continued to suffer physically.

Invisible Lightning. There are a several versions of the cult’s history. A number of Christian organizations cite the Time magazine article and the seven secret security documents that say that the cult was founded in 1989 by a man named Zhao Weishan, a former member of a Christian sect called the Shouters. Weishan proclaimed that Jesus had returned in the form of a 30-year-old, plain-looking Chinese peasant woman named Deng from the province of Henan. This teaching is based on revelation that Weishan claims he received from God regarding Matthew 24:27. Asia Harvest reports that in 2000 Weishan was granted refugee status in the United States, where he continues to run the cult’s activities in China. The report does not cite the source of this information.

Reports from other missions organizations do not mention Weishan as the founder but say, rather, that the woman Deng set herself up as the “female Christ.” Several Chinese Christians who regularly visit the mainland and are familiar with the cult told the Christian Research Journal that although they had heard of Deng, they had not heard of Weishan. Chinese sources favor the theory that Deng hides herself, while Weishan runs the cult’s operations.

An article dated January 2004 on one of the cult’s Web sites (, however, denies as “rumor” the reports that Almighty God’s Church believes in “a woman with the surname Deng who was once possessed by a demon in Zheng Zhou of Henan province.” The article explains, “Actually, the place of birth and location where God became flesh is not in Henan province at all. Furthermore, the surname is not Deng.” The article does not, however, identify someone other than Deng as the Christ; rather, it explains why “the flesh of the Almighty God” could not be demon possessed. The fact that no one has ever seen or photographed the woman they call the “female Christ” makes her identity or even her existence difficult to confirm.

The Second Incarnation. The group believes that the Bible is out-of-date and that those who limit God’s revelation to just the Bible are like the Pharisees who held on to the Old Testament and rejected Christ. Followers are told to give up the truth of the past and build their foundation on the Holy Spirit’s word for today: the writings of the “female Christ,” which are “God’s new word.”

The cult has published numerous books, including The Word Becomes Flesh and The Lightning Comes from the East, and distributed hundreds of thousands of copies in China. Two of the books that are distributed among Chinese churches in America are titled The Holy Spirit Speaks to All the Churches and God’s Work through His Secret Appearing. The content in these books is nearly identical. Much of it is written in first person, as if by their “female Christ,” and is terse and threatening.

The “female Christ” states that Jesus was God’s first incarnation, but that He did not complete His work; therefore, God needed to come again to finish the work, this time as a woman. This “appearing” ends the previous age and begins a new age in God’s six-thousand-year plan to save all humanity.

God’s plan, she says, has three ages (creation, salvation, and destruction) and three dispensations (law, redemption, and kingdom). She claims that she comes for the kingdom dispensation and therefore her work is judgment.

Her books are filled with explicit and horrific pronouncements of damnation and judgment on unbelievers. The only sin is not to accept her as the Christ, she says, and salvation is possible only by following her. She states that “God is inhumanly cruel” and she admits that she hates humankind.

She teaches that Christ died for our sins, but denies that He rose again physically. She ardently opposes the concept of the second coming of Jesus and tells followers not to wait for a “white cloud descension.”

The “female Christ” doesn’t prove her divinity to potential believers by healing the sick, casting out demons, or performing miracles; instead, she uses threats and intimidation to persuade converts. She says that she will punish or slay those who repudiate her, and even their family members will meet with misfortune. Another of the cult’s Web sites ( lists 887 cases in which people allegedly died of sickness, accident, or unknown causes after rejecting the cult’s evangelistic efforts.

The cult demands complete obedience and sacrifice. Adherents must turn their material possessions over to the organization and follow orders, otherwise they will be punished. They are urged to leave their families, to live in a commune, and to spread the message of the “female Christ.”

Spying and Paving the Way. The cult is known for its deceptive evangelization practices. An article in Tianfeng, the magazine of the Chinese government–controlled Three Self Patriotic Church, says the cult entices people with money or gifts, but will turn to violence or even murder if a person accepts their gifts but fails to join.

A report from China for Jesus describes four stages of strategy that the cult has used. The first stage was simply to send books and money to Christian preachers. In the second stage they adopted aggressive tactics, including violence and coercion. In the third stage they used sexual temptation and entrapment as a means of blackmailing prospects.

The fourth stage is called “spying and paving the way,” the name the cult gives to their process of infiltrating a house church. Followers are instructed to mingle with church members in order to identify those who are strong Christians and core members of the church. Likely targets are those who arrive before a church meeting and stay after, and who can look up Bible passages efficiently. Cult members will try to befriend such people and to act like sincere truth seekers in order to gain their trust. Once the infiltrators have successfully “spied” these people, they begin to “pave the way” by asking questions to shake the Christian believer’s faith. They may invite the believer to a “Bible study,” for example, where instead of studying the Bible they badger the believer with questions such as, “Where is heaven? Is it on earth?” Or they will question the concept of the rapture of the church, a doctrine the cult ardently denies. Ultimately, they turn to preaching their message, which is the second incarnation of God. The author of the China for Jesus report predicted that they will begin to use an unknown fifth strategy now that this latest one has been exposed in recent years.

The cult denies that Almighty God’s Church kidnaps people and forces them to accept its message. An article on one of their Web sites ( states that regulations instruct followers not to pressure those who are not willing to believe in God, because the church doesn’t want “worthless” members who do not really believe. The article claims that in 1999 alone the church dismissed 70 to 80 thousand people “who were guilty of misconduct and disobedience to the church’s regulations.”

Eastern Lightning prefers to target orthodox Christian house churches rather than fringe or heretical groups. According to the cult’s own internal instructions, they are not to evangelize those who do not worship Jesus alone and do not study the Bible, such as Buddhists, Taoists, and Muslims, as well as many Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics in China. Non-Christians and even family members of Eastern Lightning followers are also excluded from being evangelized.

A book about heresies in mainland China, published in Taiwan by the Christian and China Research Center, contains the testimony of a Chinese house church member who escaped the cult. He says that the cult never acts in the open, but that their activities are always covert and organized. “Wherever they go, they destroy and scatter that church with incredible speed and unmatched means.”

Even though the central Chinese government denounces the cult, some Chinese Christians view the cult’s behavior and financial strength as indications that it is being supported by individual local Communist officials who are seeking to disrupt and destroy house churches. Other Chinese Christians see the cult as satanic and believe that the Satanic church in America is behind it.

Global Vision. The message of the “female Christ” of Eastern Lightning resembles that of Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. Moon came to America in 1971 claiming that Christ had not completed His mission, and in 1992 he declared he and his wife to be the Messiah, the True Parents, who would usher in a “Completed Testament” age of world peace.

The “female Christ” declares that her appearance as the new Messiah ushers in the last stage of God’s plan. On one of the cult’s Web sites ( she confirms that its work has already expanded beyond the borders of China: “At the present time, the work is one of conquering the deeply corrupt people in the nations. Moreover, it is not merely a work of guiding people in China, but one of guiding the entire universe. You now only see the work being done in China, but actually it has already started to extend overseas.”

In a 2001 article titled “Lightning from the East” in the China Insight Newsletter, researcher Tony Lambert reported that the cult now has centers in New York and Toronto. The Journal has received reports from Christians in Paris and Amsterdam that the cult has reached Europe as well. Sources in the West have reported that the cult has been distributing books, tracts, and CDs through the Internet and in the parking lots of Chinese churches. It has also advertised a paid position to translate their books into English.

Woman calls 911 because man she met on app blindfolded, kidnapped and forcibly raped her. Turns out she was just mad that he wouldn’t give her a ride home

GALEN, N.Y. (WHAM) – Deputies with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said a Clyde woman lied to them about being blindfolded and raped because she was angry that her date did not give her a ride home.

According to investigators, 27-year-old Jessica Gallagher called 911 to report that she had been picked up by an unknown man she met through a dating app, then was blindfolded, taken to an unknown house and forcibly raped.

Gallagher gave detectives a written statement about the incident describing the situation.


After further investigation by the detectives, Gallagher admitted that she made the incident up because she was angry that the man would not give her a ride home.

Gallagher was arrested and charged with making a punishable false written statement, and falsely reporting an incident. She was arraigned and remanded to the Wayne County Jail in lieu of $500 cash bail or $1,500 insurance bond.

A court appearance has been scheduled for July 18 at 8:30 a.m.

Canada: In acquitting Muslim accused of multiple sexual assaults, judge cites his “different cultural background”

“The judge cited the fact that Hajj Solomon is from a different cultural background from the six complainants as a reason to call into question their identification of him.”

So you see, they weren’t really sexually assaulted. They just were suffering from a case of “Islamophobia.”

That’s justice in Justin Trudeau’s Canada.

An update on this story. “NOT GUILTY verdict in Edmonton Mall sex assault case; victims’ families in tears,” by Sheila Gunn Reid, Rebel Media, July 6, 2018 (thanks to Kathy Shaidle):

Not guilty on all 12 charges. That’s the decision from Judge Joyce Lester in the trial of Soleiman Hajj Soleiman in Edmonton this morning.

Hajj Soleiman, a 40-year-old Syrian and father of six who came to Canada December, 2015 was accused of six counts of sexual assault and six counts of sexual interference after a series of gropings and molestations in the West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark in February, 2017.

The complainants, six girls age 13 to 15, accused Hajj Solomon of sexually touching them in the wave pool….

The judge cited the fact that Hajj Solomon is from a different cultural background from the six complainants as a reason to call into question their identification of him….

10 arrested in anti-Semitic assault in Berlin park

German police arrested 10 people Sunday over an alleged anti-Semitic attack in a Berlin park, with local media reporting that both victim and suspects are Syrians.

The group, aged between 15 and 25, including three women, were detained following the assault in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police did not give the names or nationalities of the suspects or the victim, but German daily Welt had reported that all involved are Syrians.

Police said the victim had approached the group in a park to borrow a lighter, but his cigarette was snatched away.

The 25-year-old was wearing a chain with a star of David, which police said was ripped from the victim’s neck by one of the men, while spewing “anti-Semitic insults”.

The attacker allegedly repeatedly punched the victim in the face, before fleeing.

The victim was treated in a hospital after suffering cuts to the head.

Police added that the three female suspects aged 15 to 21 and seven men aged 17 to 25 were subsequently released, but that a special branch of investigators dealing with politically motivated crimes have taken over the case.

Germany was shocked by a case of anti-Semitism in April involving a Syrian migrant who lashed out with his belt at an Arab Israeli man wearing a Jewish kippa.

The attack was the latest to raise alarm bells about renewed anti-Semitism in Germany from the large influx of predominantly Muslim migrants since 2015.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking with Israeli television, had also denounced the emergence of “another form of anti-Semitism” beyond that of radical nationalist groups, from Muslim refugees.