The Blogger behind the Blog

Larina Warnock was born Larina Baumgartner on September 8, 1976 in Tacoma, Washington. Growing up, Larina moved all over the country, attending more than 20 schools in 4 states. She doesn’t believe in statistics. At 16, she had her first child and was told her chances of finishing high school were next to none. An Honor’s student, she dropped out two months before graduation, giving up a number of scholarships including one to an Ivy League school. She started her first marriage at age 17. It ended poorly, but she went back to high school, earned her diploma, and went on to graduate from Eastern Oregon University in 2004 as a member of PINNACLE, a national honor’s society for non-traditional students. In 2012, she graduated from Saint Xavier University with a M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction.

Inspired by her own children, Larina went on to teach English and drama to students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in a rural school district in Idaho.  After recognizing that her children did not have access to the opportunities they needed to thrive, Larina moved to Oregon with her family.  She has served as an advocate for children with all levels and forms of disabilities and has provided support to their families and disability-related organizations.

She is actively involved in her community and currently serves as President of Writers on the River. She co-founded and edited The Externalist: A Journal of Perspectives, served as a moderator and as site administrator for The Academy of American Poets online discussion forum, is a member of Sunrisers Kiwanis Club of Corvallis and Kappa Delta Pi. In addition, she has presented at various literary conferences in Washington and Oregon.

Larina writes poetry, fiction, personal essays, and is working on a novel. Her chapbook, Guitar without Strings, is available from The Lives You Touch Publications.

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6 thoughts on “The Blogger behind the Blog

  1. Dear Larina Baumgartner,

    I am amazed that you were born in 1976. The poetry etched an older soul…

    In Concord, Massachusetts..@1973…on the old North Bridge, Gerry Ford could not hear himself talk as the crowd chanted “Gerry Ford 1,2 who the hell elected you”!

    This seems like a lifetime ago. I was about 13 years old.
    I grew up the cradle of “the revelution”. Really dead center + 200 years. I grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The Town Center is roughly the was it was 200+ years ago.

    In school, they never let us forget it. As if we were some chosen species. We were too busy with the newest sound from England and the growing counter culture.

    The Vietnam war touched us only slightly, our parents were the “slient majority”. There was no organized propoganda with the “older kids” even in 1972. My Father took me to see “The Green Beret’s” starring John Wayne.

    I almost lost my life in 1962. Thirty miles west of Boston; we had 3 Raytheon plants within apx. 5 miles. One would never know they existed or what they were doing. What they were doing is the engineering part of of ICBM’s.

    On ole’ Boston Post Road – Route 20, where George Washington and many others of the revolution names traveled there were 2 major military complexes: Rathyeon Wayland and Raytheon Sudbury. W

    hen I was about 13, my best friend’s father was the president of Raytheon Sudbury. In 1974 I made a call from his “car phone” as he prepared a speech to the Havard Business School. His name was Tom Markley.

    I had just finished reading some poltical treatise and engaged Tom to the point were we forgot my Ski’s were still on the roof of his car.

    My other best friend and a close friend today, – his family owned the Sudbury House, which was an historic landmark, on Route 20 between these signifiant milatary facilites – set back in the woods. Weird, isn’t it? My Maternal Grandmother’s brother was one of the founders of Raytheon – then called Draper labs. My Father was annointed by the Admiral Rickover as “his boy” so my dad became VP of Microwave Associates and they were not making ovens.

    It was all about the Russians. That Russia so emoblded, godless, and encroaching it didn’t seem real. In retrospect it was very real. Even before spunkick they simply did not have the momentum and structure we had and by 1961 had them “nuclear surrounded”. This whole “communist” Russia thing was not openly taught, to the credit of our school system, but teachers were given the OK to hand out propganda. In New Mexico they made the 1st bomb – that facility still exists, in Sudbury and Wayland MA, they took ICMB’s to a new level. Raytheon Sudbury was offically “avionics” but this was a unique facility that dedicated to the communications software in ICBM’s.

    Holy smokes, what was happening around me as a young boy emulating Davy Crockett. What secrets some of our fathers held.

    I think the greater question of nuclear war, even on a limited scale, is that of insanity of the ego. The US and all other “Nuke Nations” are under the scrutiny of several international groups as well as internal oragnizations.

    We are still living in the “fallout” that was the Cold War. The cold war ruined eveything. It diverted trillions of dollars away from medical and other sciences in general to design, build and maintain.

    The “new cold war” is about responsible capital markets. It is also about responsiblity in general as elected leaders can no longer keep their constiutencies in “the dark”. Highly educated diplomates creating better trade relations in every county and paying them should be a prioity.

    In the post Soviet era the USA is clearly the “new Rome”. Without territorial ambitions, what exactly is our major foriegn policy objectives? Have the been met?

    The problem is the “conversion” time between Bush I and the Bush II “the idiot”. In between we had Clinton & Co. No forsight, still in “Soviet” posture.

    The question is not whether we are conservative or liberal. The world is not that nicely divided. To reduce it would be a liberal on social and/or economics. I still live in western suburbs in Massachusetts and the people really do not like excessive spending or central government control over anything but the military. The temerity to think one can control and make better via government programs is to be a bad student in history. History is clear the FDR’s many “fixes” actually prolonged the great depression. FDR had no sense of market economics and highly distrusted it. Easy to say when you are born wealthy.

    We have seen 3 major lapses in legislative oversight in the last 15 years. #1 Ronald Reagan’s idea to let Savings & Loan banks get into commercial lending ( where they had no core competence) This is the S&L bailout and Bush I had no other recourse but to raise taxes marginally and it cost that man the election. This led to relatively minior boom/bust real estate marekt. #2 Internet and stock market bubble/burst this was relatively minor as the internet will never fundementally change the way we buy furnature. #3 The perfect storm. K-Street goes mad. Bush II the idiot has less a clue than Clinton as to the disruptive nature of high-powered lobbying and should have put the breaks on. This system is firmly out of control at this point. By this I mean our democacy and the republic. If the special interest want a voice than start a newspaper or something, just do not try to buy of my US Senator or else…or else…well nothing in Massachusetts but we really like our 10 billion tunnel that leaks. Government can do great things when it gets out of its own way and keeps its thumb, eye and ears out for those very greedy who wreck the whole game for the rest of of kids trying so hard. In Denmark they just do not care, the live longer and are by all scientific marks “happier” than people in the US. They are not we but I can say for certain as the US broke up the big trusts ( Theodore Roosvelt) I would have put a dmaper on Wal-Mart’s designs @ 1980. Economnicaly, and this in debate, the US as compromised itself city by city and town by town, and destoyed what was left of “Main Street” for the tax payouts Wal-Mart marking down in black and white. In the Clinton years it was “cash and carry”. Every administration since Washington has had some form of infuence peddling. By the time Clinton left office K-Street had its grip and faster communications and those savvy in those areas were taking control. The results have been disastrous and both liberal democrate and conservative republican are to blame. They are elected to serve the interests of their constiuencies and the “greater good” ( how naive does that sound) of the US.

    A third party need to rise to split either democratic or republican votes, in essense, hold the keys to the White House. I do not know what party is easier to split but a populist ( a rational Ross Perot) and a platform that resonates with the public suspicion of big government, this party will elect the next president. If Obama can “rally around the flag” on just 2 issues, and get people to buy it, he most likely will be re-elected. The electorate is impatient and a fiscally conservative democrat that is wealthy enough to fianance his/her own campaign to a large degree can speak out with the IOU chains the have shackled our policy makers to new levels. I do not have an idea who this person is yet, but it would be sad to see the same old 2 party corruption that we have growing like ivy over the bricks and mortar. On the domestic front the challege now is keeping the dollar steady and to have a mantra of less govt. On the foriegn policy side a complete overall has to be done. The state dept. goals should be good trade deals, not just trade for the sake of trade..the beneficiaries have been large corporate interests -who have no flag and respect nothing but profit.

    This recession is deep and represents all the lessons not learned in a responsible and intelligently regulated free market system.

    If one thinks big government is the answer, then one should look to historical references not just in the USA but in other countries.

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