Kieran Healey has a marvelous post tweaking anayltic philosophy; and Chris Bertram has a nice pair of posts on European expansion. His point about France is one I've been batting around in my head for the last week. There are all sorts of ways in which Turkey doesn't yet live up to what I take to be the decent liberal minimum of respecting human rights, or at least hasn't yet shown that it has changed its ways. But almost all of these it imported directly or indirectly from France, with the suppression of both religion and linguistic minorities high on the list. If I trusted the EU more, I'd have some sympathies with their reasons for continuing to exclude Turkey; as it is, I'm sort of dubious. (That doesn't mean, btw, that American security interests-- even legitimate ones-- should provide sufficient reason for the EU to extend membership.)
Not all free trade agreements, however, claim to rest on such a thick ideological foundation as the EU. Let Turkey into NAFTA!
Meanwhile: I've got my Two Towers tickets. It didn't occur to me until fairly late in the game that the free ticket that came with the Fellowship DVD wasn't compatible with buying advance tickets online-- which is of course necessary for opening-day seats. Guess I'll just have to go again. Dang.