George Ochenski

George Ochenski


We’re getting worse — not better — when it comes to protecting the environment

By: - April 8, 2022

What will future generations and historians deduce when they look back at this turbulent period in world history and what the “leading nations” did or did not do to address the problems that are so serious they actually threaten the future of life as we know it on the planet? Given the increasingly complex and […]


The death spiral of globalization?

By: - April 1, 2022

Last week Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, sent the firm’s stockholders a letter in which he bluntly stated: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the last three decades.” BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm — and with more than $10 trillion in assets, one […]


Montana’s baseless election fraud circus sees an encore

By: - March 25, 2022

Once again, this column has to start with: You really can’t make this stuff up. And once again, it refers to another whack-a-doodle move by Montana’s Republican politicians that defies logic, reason and evidence. This time around, it’s the attempt by the far right wing of the GOP to call for a special legislative session to, […]


Too much of a good thing: Montanans getting fed up with some tourism

By: - March 18, 2022

The latest study from University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research finds the press of an increasing number of tourists is starting to wear on resident Montanans. For many, that comes as no surprise and more of a “firm grasp of the obvious.” When 10 times the number of people who live in our […]


Gianforte, Rosendale — Montana’s two national embarrassments

By: - March 11, 2022

Two of Montana’s top Republican elected officials made national news last week — and both for scandalous behavior that left people across the nation asking, “What’s wrong with these guys?” Gov. Greg Gianforte made the news for shooting a Yellowstone National Park mountain lion that had been treed by hounds. Known as “Cougar M220,” it […]


The tired old baloney about energy independence

By: - March 4, 2022

Once again, due to a conflict in some part of the world, our political leaders have the same old knee-jerk reaction — we must increase oil and gas drilling in the U.S. This time it’s the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the excuse, but it’s just the latest in a long line of facetious reasons to urge more […]


Gianforte, Republicans ignoring the will of conservation voters

By: - February 25, 2022

A new poll of those living in the Mountain West indicates the Republican officials in charge of Montana’s state government are out of step with voters’ conservation priorities, largely ignoring the most critical issues, and in many cases, are exacerbating those concerns by doing exactly the opposite of what voters think should be done. For […]


Montana leaders ignoring the law (with help from the Democrats)

By: - February 18, 2022

Late last week, Lee’s Montana State News Bureau reported on problems with state agencies stonewalling requests for information from the legislative auditor’s office. While few Montanans are familiar with the functions of this office and the vitally necessary duties it carries out, make no mistake that without it the checks and balances between the legislative […]


Another unconstitutional GOP-sponsored law bites the dust

By: - February 11, 2022

One year ago, the Republican-dominated Legislature cemented its place in history by passing more unconstitutional bills than any Legislature in recent memory. So far, more than 20 of the measures they passed and Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law have faced court challenges. Late last week, Helena District Court Judge Mike Menahan ruled against Gianforte […]


How far, how fast Montana’s reputation has fallen

By: - February 4, 2022

As most people know, building a good reputation doesn’t happen overnight. In the case of a state like Montana, it took a long time to become known as “The Last Best Place” — and we did it primarily due to the long-term care we took of our natural wonders. Now, only one year after the […]


Reefer madness finally comes to an end in Montana

By: - February 1, 2022

Authoritarian governments have always tried in vain to keep citizens from indulging in activities they deem corrupting influences – or those that might diminish their control over the people. In the U.S., the classic example was the short-lived but extremely vicious and damaging experiment in Prohibition, which outlawed any sale or possession of alcoholic beverages. […]


Montana Republicans tripped up by their own anti-citizens law

By: - January 28, 2022

You really can’t make this stuff up. First, the Republicans win every statewide election in Montana while their party, led by the former president, assails election integrity. But gosh, since Montana’s citizens also voted overwhelmingly for a citizens’ initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, the Republican-dominated legislature decided to hobble the citizen’s initiative process guaranteed in […]