If Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham has her way, children will now be back in the work force. Eliminating her State's Child Labour Laws will offer some serious competition to factories in Indonesia and China. Sen. Cunningham claims she is trying to cultivate a 'work ethic' in children, and perhaps a few dollars for Missouri business owners� Republican Senator and Tea Party supporter Mike Lee from Utah, also supports a change to Child Labour Laws, claiming they are unconstitutional. Normally the Tea Party and their ambitious plans to drag the US back to colonial times would make page six in the national press, but Senator Lee controls policy at the national level, and not just his theocratic state of Utah.

The Tea Party movement are strict constitutionalists, meaning if it isn't in the Constitution, then it must be either illegal, immoral or unjust. Slavery was noticeably excluded from the US Constitution, primarily because the original signers all owned slaves. The Tea Party therefore have to be opposed to the ban on slavery in the US, which must be unconstitutional, therefore illegal.

President Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves, at least symbolically, wouldn't get past the American Tea Party Taliban today. If it's not in the Bible or the Constitution, then Republicans and Tea Party members are opposed to it.

The past few weeks have seen the dominoes fall in political demonstrations in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Algeria. Just like the former USSR, the Arab world seems to be crumbling from within. Colonel Qaddafi is way past his 'sell by date' and will soon be replaced by another regime.

I can't spell the Colonels name, no one can. At last count there are twelve different ways to spell his name. Khaddafi, Gaddafi, Quaddafi, Qadhafi and so on. There is a problem in translating Arabic names into English as some have no standard translation. The retirement community in Saudi Arabia is getting larger by the week although Venezuela has promised the Colonel asylum. Getting their hands on intelligence on Libyan oil leases may be a motive for the Venezuelan offer.

Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker remains adamant on his 'Union Busting' efforts and his legislation to reduce the ability of trade unions to have the right to collective bargaining. Aimed initially at State employee Unions, with the Police and Firefighter Unions being excluded. These Unions are traditionally Republican and supported the Governor in his campaign.

Economic patriotism is a good thing. Whenever I can, I 'Buy British', or American if it's cheaper. I might be patriotic, but I'm also very cheap. I support Unions, and consider buying Union Made products a civic duty. Trade Unions took workers from the Working Class to the Middle Class, not without a lot of fight and sacrifice. In a surprising show of solidarity, fourteen Democratic Senators fled the State of Wisconsin and are holed up somewhere in Illinois. Being absent from the State House means the Governor cannot pass this legislation without their vote or presence. Democratic Senators have taken similar steps in Illinois and are currently on the run, in Wisconsin perhaps.

Governor Walker dispatched State Police to apprehend the Senators to force them to return to the Statehouse. Fortunately, they all made it safely across a State line. The Law requires that Senators have to show up at the House, but there is no statute on how exactly this can be accomplished. All State Governors control the National Guard, and Gov Walker has threatened to mobilize guard units to control demonstrations and to replace essential state employees. Using the National Guard to achieve a political goal is nothing new and not a very smart move. It was a lesson learned at Kent State University in 1970.

The future of Trade Unions is in jeopardy in Republican controlled States, and so is democracy.

Across the Pond Follow 'Across the Pond' on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fraefife