Feh. That's what I get for relying on Feynmans QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (ISBN-10: 0691024170 | ISBN-13: 978-0691024172, $7.77 at Amazon.com) instead of having taken a real course in it.
As far as the Gold, I'll take your word for it: it was an offhand comment during a discussion section after a paper at a long-gone Theoretical Chemistry conference, but it was odd enough that it lodged in the esophagus of my mind.
Incidentally, speaking of the Dirac equation, doesn't it leave room for magnetic monopoles? John Van Vleck would be deeply saddened...
Well ... it could, but he never developed a fully formed Hamiltonian that would include magnetic monopoles in his theory of the electron, AFAIK.
The famous Dirac/Magnetic Monopoles thing you're talking about was that he published a symmetrized revision of Maxwell's Equations which included magnetic monopoles complete with a magnetic Gauss's Law and Magnetic displacement currents. The whole deal. The consequences were interesting. But it was purely classical.