A woman yelled at Rick Scott at Starbucks. But did you actually hear what she said?

There's a lot to love about America. Freedom of religion. Freedom of assembly. Freedom to dress casually on Friday.

...though the frozen treat is mandated by federal law. Photo by Jewel Samad/Getty Images.


But perhaps the most cherished American freedom of all is the freedom to call the governor of your state an asshole to their face whenever you damn well feel like it.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, for example. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

That's exactly what Florida resident Cara Jennings did when she came face-to-face with Gov. Rick Scott in a Starbucks yesterday.

But ... why would anyone want to yell at Rick Scott?

He looks nice.

Photo by Joe Radle/Getty Images.

I mean, just look at those teeth. Such clean teeth!

Jennings had three reasons, it turns out. And they're pretty big ones.

1. "You cut Medicaid, so I couldn't get Obamacare," Jennings accused.

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone has to buy health coverage or face a tax penalty. But what if you can't afford insurance? According to the law, anyone who makes up to 138% of the poverty line is eligible for Medicaid, and anyone who makes between 138% to 400% of the poverty line can have their coverage subsidized if they buy a plan from their state or federal exchange.

In theory, anyway.

The catch is, the ACA is a federal law, and Medicaid is a state program. The federal government can't force the states to expand it to include higher-earning people if they don't want to. So the federal government gave the states a huge carrot to get them to do so: offering to pay for the expansion in full until 2020, and 90% after that. Basically a total win-win.

Thanks, Obama. Photo via iStock.

But Florida, under Scott, refused (after saying he'd take the money in 2013). Which, essentially, means that anyone in Florida who makes more than poverty wages but less then a living wage is pretty much out of luck.

Jennings isn't exactly correct to say Scott cut Medicaid. But it is true that his government rejected a pretty no-brainer expansion of Medicaid that wouldn't have cost the state a dime for seven years. And in doing so, he put affordable health care out of reach for many, many Floridians.

2. "A million jobs? Great! Who here has a great job?"

As Jennings shouted in his general direction, Scott boasted that Florida has added 1 million jobs in his tenure. He's (close enough to) right!

Jennings replied that these jobs mostly kind of suck. And she's also kind of right.

Florida's economy. Photo by M. Minderhoud/Wikimedia Commons.

Scott has faced criticism that many of the jobs his state has added since he took charge don't really pay all that well — and there's some evidence to support this claim. A 2014 United Way report found that over half of all jobs in the state paid less than $15 an hour, and sectors that offer low-paying jobs have been among the fastest-growing.

There's some evidence that this has begun to change recently, but it's hard to blame Jennings for feeling frustrated.

3. "You stripped [women] of access to public health care."

According to WFTS-TV in Gainsville, Jennings had been "reading about Scott signing a bill that cuts money for Planned Parenthood and seized the opportunity to speak her mind."

And it's true! Scott signed a bill in March stripping state funding from clinics that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood.

Really? This again. Still with this? Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services. It also provides plenty of other services, including cancer screenings, contraception, and STD/STI testing. Cutting funding puts those services in jeopardy.

As the gutsiness of Jennings' epic rant makes clear, when it comes to holding politicians to account, politeness can be kinda overrated.

Most of us, at some point in our lives, learn that shouting at a stranger in a coffee shop is rude. But these are big issues that affect real people! And when, if ever, else was Jennings going to have an unscripted conversation with the governor responsible?

Like most politicians, Rick Scott undoubtedly spends a lot of time surrounded by lots of people who agree with him. If not for a lady in a Starbucks yelling at him, when's he gonna hear about it?

So if you feel the need, by all means, yell at your governor.

Still. Those teeth. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

It's the American way.

Fine print: Upworthy does not expressly endorse yelling at your governor. There are many, many situations where this might not be appropriate or advisable. Though, if you want to yell at your governor, you have the constitutional right to. Upworthy does endorse the Constitution of the United States.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less