Here's an interesting but troubling David Goldman piece on president Obama's childhood as the indirect object of the dog-eating story. To me, the wok-the-dog story is 2012's version of 2008's Hussein, using his full name to punctuate the alienness of the immigrant's son who spend a good chunk of his formative years in the Third World.
Obama's mom was an anthropologist who would document how foreign cultures were on the sharp end of globalization's creative destruction; Goldman even trots out the Shumpeterian phrase more than once and posits that Obama's worldview is that of an anthropologist who (if I can rip off Bill Buckley) stands athwart progress yelling "Stop!"-here's Goldman's close
The president isn’t really one of us. He’s a dog-eater. He tells the story in his memoir to emphasize that viscerally, Obama identifies with the Third World of his upbringing more than with the America of his adulthood. It is our great misfortune to have a president who dislikes our country at this juncture in our history.
It's not so much America that he dislikes but market-and-profit-centered globalization that he seems to dislike. Modern liberal/socialist policy is designed to mitigate the destructive nature of the market economy, but by mitigating the destruction, they also constrain creativity.
One nit to pick here is that Obama becomes not-one-of-us only if we take a narrow view of who "we" are. From a Christian perspective, we're all children of God, and the one time Indonesian schoolkid is as much one of us as your writer here who's not left North America in his lifetime.
We just got done holding a conference at church looking to reach out to Tibetans; one aspect of that ministry was to look after poor children, giving them an education and a future that their Tibetan-Nepali culture (the area in question was a ethnically Tibetan area in Nepal) wasn't otherwise providing. Such largess takes money out of the US economy and plunks it halfway around the world.
That puts both mission-oriented Christians and more secular anthropologists and their political allies focused on the least-of-these around the world. Both are trying to help folks ill-served by their society, but with different agenda; the anthropologist tries to keep the old ways intact (including native religions that the missionary would rather convert people from), often siding against progress in keeping their research subjects out of progress' way, while the missionary brings the gospel, aid and help in adapting to the evolving interaction with the rest of the world.
The church often can side with the Third World preservationists as critics of some of the seamier sides of globalization; it's not always a natural ally of the marketplace, especially when the market is selling things that shouldn't be sold and loses sight of human worth outside of their bottom line. For instance, we see fans of the Dalai Lama and those of Chinese house churches joining forces to try and get China to reform.
The other day, I was thinking of how the continuous improvement meme rampant in modern business management applies in a church setting. The Gospel isn't something that can be reformulated and improved; it's a constant. How we present it and how we create disciples can change, especially if old habits aren't helpful, but some old ways aren't subject to change; taking Sundays off cuts into potential revenue by 14%, but profit-maximization isn't our goal, Kingdom-of-God maximization is.