I've managed to get some progress (I can actually install a gem) if I 
specify --ignore-dependencies.

This and a combination of  "wget"-ing the gems and installing them 
locally; I actually got the ruby debugger installed.


Somehow I've got a hunch that this is something to do with networking 
(this box is NAT-ed); but EVERYTHING else works fine.   Sniffle....

-b
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