There was often a dull sameness to the news of this past year: Trump, Trump, and more Trump. But our opinion writers found meaning in a host of stories large and small, international and local.

1. The US Border Crisis Is Just The Tip Of An International Problem
David S. Bernstein had the wit to recognize that as acute as America's border problems are, they pale in comparison to the international crisis of forced migration. It's a key piece of context too many forget — or ignore.

2. Why I'm Sitting Out The "Straight Pride" Protests
Susan Ryan Volmar demonstrates why age, experience, and the ability to imagine yourself in someone else's shoes enrich your point of view. The so-called "Straight Pride Parade" generated a lot of heated commentary in Boston. Susan managed to work past the heat, and shed some light on the event.

3. The Betrayal Of Jay-Z's Deal With The NFL
Don't cross Callie Crossley. She sets her standards high and holds public people to public account. And so it was with Jay-Z, the master of making a smart buck or two. But as events demonstrated, was he too smart for the good of his soul?

4. Boston Calling: Crime? Or Politics As Usual?
As far as civil liberties columnist and defense lawyer Harvey Silverglate was concerned, the Boston Calling/Boston City Hall Corruption Trial was a classic case of prosecutorial overreach. In other words, the U.S. Attorney went after City Hall for little more reason than that they could, he writes. Just because politics is sometimes a dirty business, doesn't make it criminal.

5. Here Are Three Questions Still To Be Answered About The Meltdown Of The MIT Media Lab
Convicted child molester gives pots of money to Harvard and MIT and then — apparently — kills himself in jail. Media critic Dan Kennedy couldn't make anything this disturbing up. But Kennedy does manage to make sense of what it all meant, and continues to mean. Then again, insight is Kennedy's business.