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Systemic Debian bug -- was [Re: BUSTER install - CATCH-22]

Rather than quote my original post, I'll restate the underlying problem.

In the beginning, Joe Average would obtain Debian on a set of physical installation CDs. He boots from it. The installer does it's thing. Later, desiring additional software, he inserts the same CD and allows Synaptic to do it's thing.

Time passes. Joe obtains a USB flash drive whose content is an image of the installation CD/DVD. It came with instructions on how to boot from it. The installer does it's thing. Later, wanting additional software, he inserts the flash drive. Synaptic tells him to insert a non-existent CD/DVD in a possibly non-existent drive.

At this point, the same cognoscenti who bemoan Linux lacking market penetration tell him to go read some techie manuals and perform arcane incantations. As true ostriches they insist the problem is "operator error".

I was going to document here the work-a-round I successfully used yesterday to install desired additional packages.

Before doing so, I attempted to duplicate the steps performed yesterday. I received a strange error message. I suspect I know the source of the problem(s). It will take at least a day to document.