Monday, August 27, 2012

Brian, Bloggers, and Bullying

Brian Meshkin has launched yet another initiative to burnish his public image. This time he’s hitched his wagon to the nascent anti bullying crusade. In a press release last week he announced the formation of One-Howard-County “a new initiative aimed at reducing cyberbullying and avoiding other digital dangers among youth and adults here in our community.”

The key word here is “adults.” Brian believes that cyber bullying is something that effects adults as well as kids. I suspect he believes that he has been just such a victim.

“Examples of such "adult bullying" include bloggers that attack instead of discuss and individuals who post personal attacks on comment boards of online news articles, oftentimes under pseudonyms or false identities.”

I think he might be referring to me and possibly my HoCo blogging brethren, Tom Coale.

Regular readers know that I am no fan of Brian, mostly because he wildly exaggerates his professional accomplishments and often repackages others ideas as his own. When confronted with hard truths, he has a tendency to go silent. For example, in this exchange with Steve Murphy, MD on his blog, Gene Sherpas, Brian took issue with Salugen being referred to as a “snake oil company.” When the doctor asked him to back up his claims, Brian went silent. Eric Berger, a science reporter with the Houston Chronicle had a similar experience with someone who identified themselves as a “Salugen Researcher”. Given that Salugen never had a staff of more than ten people; it seems likely that “Salugen Researcher” was actually Brian. The tone of the writing is strikingly similar to the comment posted on the Gene Sherpas blog.

Salugen eventually tanked, resulting in financial judgments being rendered against Brian and his company. The State of California even revoked its charter for non payment of taxes. One of his former partners had this say about the company's' demise.

“Sadly the company Salugen, Inc. San Diego, California, had very poor management and due to alleged fiscal infractions especially committed by the president and CEO, Brian Meshkin, all top executives including myself, Bill Downs, Rodger Waite as well as others resigned. My hat is off to Kim Downs Bill's wife, for having the insight to personally confront him, thereby precipitating the exodus.”

None of this would even be on my radar if Brian wasn’t serving on our school board. As long as I didn’t have any dealings with him, his business antics would not have concerned me in the least.

But he is on our school board and he continually paints himself as a wise and savvy business person. That simply is not borne out by the facts. He may see this as bullying but I see it as merely pointing out that the emperor has no clothes

And if Brian would truly like to discuss his record, I extend him an invitation to join us on "and then then there's that..." That's a discussion I'd like to have.
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