The back pages of Thursday’s NY Times (9/3/15) retail these nuggets:

  • Suicide bomber kills 20 in Yemen mosque
  • Masked gunmen kidnap 17 Turkish workers in Baghdad
  • Gangs drive murder surge in El Salvador
  • Pakistani airstrikes kill 31 suspected militants
  • Gunmen on horseback kill 24 in two Nigerian villages
  • UN warns that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020

These are all footnotes to the big stories about the migrant crisis in Europe, featuring 12 Syrians, including a 3-year-old boy, drowning en route from Turkey to Greece (departing from Bodrum, where we were 12 months ago) and the rise of a squalid migrant city in Budapest. And when there is one piece of good news – Obama’s nuclear treaty with Iran is assured of clearing Congress – we read that Republicans are strategizing over how to thwart it.

The migrant problem strikes me as intractable, and related to the Trump-fed furor over immigration in the U.S. So long as there is war, killing and poverty (however defined), people will try to better their lives by moving to safer, higher ground. Overpopulation and climate change – two trends about which not nearly enough is being done – will magnify this problem. Just as you already see armed and gated communities in Buenos Aires and Johannesburg, you are hearing cries for security forces and a wall between the U.S. and Mexico – and even Canada. As the have-nots and haves are forced to live closer, the conflict between compassion and selfishness will be omnipresent.