Is former VP a sacred cow?

Recently, former Vice President Joe Biden assured in a cellphone video posted to Twitter that he “gets” the message that some women are uncomfortable with his displays of affection. He pledged that he would be “much more mindful of respecting personal space.”

Yet later, the possible 2020 Democratic presidential nominee’s sincerity proved only surface deep when he made fun of his behavior to a largely male audience of union activists. Biden joked that he’d been given permission to hug the union leader who introduced him.

Biden, 76, earlier explained that he “got that social norms have begun to change” and “The boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset.” Those in the political field, both sides of the aisle, have said that Biden’s behavior was well known.

Given the longstanding widespread press coverage of the #MeToo movement, you’d think Biden would have given serious thought to the inconsistencies of his behavior and the changing social norms sooner.

In true partisan form, it’s been reported that Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, the first of now many who have objected to being on the receiving end of Biden’s “affections,” had less than above-board actions when she was California’s attorney general.

Harris’ reputation, tarnished or not, doesn’t justify Biden’s well-known touchy-feel ways when casualties of the #MeToo movement, former Democratic Sen. Al Franken and well-loved Minnesota Public Radio personality Garrison Keillor are considered.

Biden may not have been intentionally disrespectful to a man or woman during his illustrious career, as he told the union activists. But it begs the question, has he rubbed noses or kissed the backs of heads of men?

Eileen Nimm

Rice Lake

Questions about robins answered

About this time a year ago, a debate appeared on these pages as to how robins could survive without worms in late winter and it was expressed that worms were critical to their survival. Relying on a little research and over 60 years as a feeder of birds, I found some answers.

It seems earthworms are rarely available for robins this time of year because as fall and colder weather set in, worms that have next to no protection against freezing tunnel downward to stay below the frost line. As conditions warm in the spring, they reverse the process. Rarely do they get to the soil surface before the robins appear.

I collected throughout the year acorns, cattail roots, tree bark, sumac berries and other foods wild creatures utilized. My students were amazed to find those little sumac berries were filled with much sugar and some protein. It was no wonder in early spring that one can find flocks of bluebirds, robins and other species feeding heavily after migrational flights upon these berries and, perhaps, crab apples and mountain ash fruit that may be in your yard.

Feeding on these items, the birds survive until other, more desirable, food becomes available. In the meantime, we can aid them by supplying freeze-dried or live mealworms, perhaps, grape jelly as you do for orioles and old fruit that you’re ready to throw out.

Birds are resilient and they defy what nature tosses their way. Whether or not we aid them, they persist from year to year as tough creatures that are so small that two goldfinches could be mailed for a first-class stamp of 55 cents with room left over for a few mealworms to be placed beside them.

Augie Wirkus

Eau Claire

Meeting with God awaits us

In this present age we are witnessing a holocaust like never has existed ever in the history of mankind. Not ever.

Our streets are not flowing with blood. The bodies of our brothers and sisters rejected by us reside in our landfills. Millions of them. Not a single one is forgotten by God.

We, on the other hand, we will go about our day, same old, same old. Not my problem. I’m not my brother’s keeper. I have enough on my plate. Not my concern.

Surely, we will not leave this planet alive. We will hear these words, “Did you know?” At that point you are on your own. Just you and God.

I can fool everyone else, make excuses for innumerable reasons but in the end, it will be you and God.

Oh boy, we are a stiff-necked and hard-hearted bunch.

Barbara Sippy