I guess the Jedi are so engraved in their daily routines that they can't see what is happening around them. Kind of like playing a video game for an hour but never noticing people have entered or left the room during that time.
I get your points, but am wondering what you would have had them do. If they sat back and did nothing, there still would have been a Clone War. My interpretation from the novels is that they're trying to serve the force and light side by serving the Republic. Many of the Seperatist forces weren't just trying to remove themselves from the Republic - they were being aggressors against other civilations (who were loyal to the current galactic government). I'm sure many of these conflicts were due to Palpy and Dooku's manipulation behind the scenese, but I think the Jedi felt that taking a side would do more to preserve lives. Remember, there had not been a galactic war for a long long time, so I'm sure there was confusion about what role they should or shouldn't play. In that situation, it would be easiest to just follow their exisiting pattern of working for the Republic.
And if they had spent the ten years between Maul and the Clone Wars searching out the Sith, would they have found Palpatine? I think the Supreme Chancellor would be a little beyond suspicion and difficult to detect as the only suriviving Sith in the universe. As for using your feelings, I think the Jedi teach that you need to understand and be aware of your feelings, but to not let them control you. You need to be aware of your rage or anger in order to recognize it and not act upon it without thinking.