There's a guy in Israel who has apparently been living in some sort of polygamist compound with 17 wives.
I've always been pretty much a civil libertarian in these matters -- heck, if 17 women want to be with one dude, well, who am I to say that this is wrong?
But, eerily enough, this story comes out on the week that I was reading Jon Krakauer's book about Mormons (as well as polygamy and murder) called Under the Banner of Heaven -- and I have to say, Krakauer puts forth probably the best case for why polygamy is harmful.
If you don't know anything about Mormonism (or, more accurately, Mormon Fundamentalism) you should pick up a copy of this book. It's fascinating. I had no idea just how big a deal polygamy was to the Mormon religion, and its history. Nor did I realize that there are tens of thousands of Mormons living throughout the United States in a way of life that quite frankly resembles the Taliban. (Mainstream Mormons rightly distance themselves from these kooks.)
Fourteen year old girls are essentially kidnapped, raped and sold into slavery to men two or three times their age -- with the happy consent of their families.
Do these girls have any choice? Of course not. When they raise any objections whatsoever they are told that they will be cast into the farthest reaches of hell. Local police and prosecutors are deferential to the church, and rarely intercede.
So schlubs reading this: If, upon reaching your studliness, you decide to start a polygamous compound in Israel, don't expect any support from yours truly! True schlubs are not for bigamy.