My neighbor and truly great friend, Tommy Lyle, was telling me his wife was getting to where she spent a lot of time telling him he was saying it wrong or doing it wrong. This constant barrage of criticism was getting depressing to him. I suggested it was probably a domestic form of Chinese water torture.

He wanted to know what I was talking about. I attempted to explain Chinese Water torture is when a person is restrained so they cannot move, lying flat on the ground or floor with their face up. Cold water is then allowed to slowly drip, one drop at a time, usually 1 drop every 10 seconds or so, in the center of their forehead. It eventually drives the victim crazy because of their anticipation of the next drop and because they cannot use their hands to remove the water or warm their face from the cold water. It may not have had its origins in China as it was first described under a different name by Hippolytus of Marsiliis in Italy in the 14th century. One of Houdini’s stunts was referred to by the name but he did not use the method above.

Tommy agreed this was an appropriate metaphor to describe the verbiage he regularly received from his wife. He came up with a code word to use for it, calling it the “drip-drip” treatment. Recently his widowed sister-in-law moved in with him and his wife. He now says he is getting a double “drip-drip” on a regular basis.

I went through the above explanation to preface my remarks now regarding the impeachment “drip-drip.” It seems appropriate to me to describe the three years of investigation, hearings and impeachment as political Chinese water torture. In the face of a very long list of notable accomplishments for our country, the president has endured a steady barrage of political poundings. I am amazed President Donald Trump has remained as calm as he has under such an incessant “drip-drip” from folks who were supposed to be coming up with solutions to the problems of our country. Instead, they have used months of precious time and millions of dollars to get so many of the three-letter agencies of our government to search in every nook and cranny to find a problem with the leader in the executive portion of our government.

Much of what has happened in our national governmental halls of power in the last three years has far more to do with bitterness, jealousy and envy over a totally unexpected election outcome than it has to do with doing the right thing for our country.

It was a good thing to set up term limits for the president. It would be an even better thing to impose term limits on our legislative bodies. But probably the only limitation we will get on their length of service will originate with informed voter participation in our elections.

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.”  — Socrates

Ray Hall’s ‘Red Hill Ramblings’ run in The Tribune every Wednesday. Visit the Red Hill Historical Preservation Association website at